Camden Hall was designed by Clarence Johnston and was built in 1912, the second major WCSA building completed (University of Minnesota Morris Historic Preservation Plan). Originally intended as a residence hall and called the Girls' Dormitory, the building had three full stories and an attic when built and was almost identical in design to Spooner Hall. Camden's intact main entrance and the north and south porches are essential elements that evoke the West Central School era. The building was used as the principal girls' residence hall for its entire existence during the West Central School of Agriculture years (1912-1963), though it also held classrooms and a gymnasium in the basement in its early years (University of Minnesota Morris Historic Preservation Plan).
On October 5, 1949, a fire broke out in the Girls' Dormitory, destroying the attic and third floor. The building remained roofless over that winter and when the roof was finally replaced that spring it covered the current two-story building. A more intentional alteration occurred in 2001 when the east porch was removed and replaced (National Register of Historic Places).
The building housed both high school and college students during the transitional years from WCSA to UMN Morris (1960-1963). The name of the building was changed briefly from Girls' Dormitory to Women's Residence Hall in the early 1960s to reflect the change from housing high school girls to college women. The building was then renamed Camden Hall in 1965. The name Camden is not in reference to a person, but rather was chosen due to its phonetic appeal, similar to Blakely Hall and Pine Hall. Camden Hall was used as a men's residence hall from 1965-1967, transitioning back to a women's residence hall from 1967 until 1969. From 1969 to present, the building has housed both faculty and Social Science Division offices (Granger).
During the WCSA years from 1912-1963, this building was known as the Girls' Dormitory as it was the residence hall for WCSA girls.
Women's Residence Hall
For a brief time, this building's name was changed from Girls' Dormitory to Women's Residence Hall, due to the change from housing WCSA high school students to housing UMN Morris female college students.
The name of this building was changed to Camden Hall in 1965.