The first on-campus, state-owned dormitory for Northern opened in 1948 and was named in honor of Ethel Carey during the school's 50th Anniversary Year in 1949. The building was not quite finished when it opened, and faculty and their spouses assisted in last minute preparations. Carey Hall had a small lounge on ground floor which concerned President Henry Tape as he envisioned its windows providing nightime means of entrance and exit. Mr. Carlson, a seventy year-old carpenter, reportedly told Tape, "If they want to get in or out, they are going to do it, but this way there will be less chance of broken arms and legs." A "tastefully" furnished living room, dining room, and reception area, along with receiving desk, telephone exchange, bulletin boards, and mail boxes were on first floor. Two army blankets were issued to each resident upon request. Meals were prepared in a "well-equipped" kitchen.