Cecil Dryden Hall first opened in the fall of 1965. Like many of the other buildings on campus, it was originally constructed as an all-female dorm. Dryden has 129 rooms, and was built of reinforced concrete with stucco and brick veneer. The building was named for an associate professor of history emeritus who worked at EWU.
Professor Dryden wrote a history of the school that was published the year Dryden Hall opened. Today, Dryden Hall is a co-ed dorm. All the rooms are reserved for single occupants. The building's north wing houses residents aged 21 and over.
Like other buildings at Eastern (Monroe Hall, Senior Hall, etc.) Dryden has a ghost story. On the outer wall of the north wing, a mysterious screaming face can be seen. At first this was thought to be a trick of the building's exterior lights, as it can only be seen at night. The story goes that no matter how many times the groundskeepers changed the position of the lights, the face still appeared. The face provides entertainment for older students on the north wing who enjoy scaring freshmen who come to gaze at this urban legend. Squeaky windows on this old building aid in their endeavors.