Trinkle Hall was a temporary structure added to the Dining Hall in 1920. It burned on June 6, 1925 after a fire at the Penniman Building damaged the Dining Hall. The old Dining Hall was enveloped and renovated to become Trinkle Hall in 1926 at a cost of $150,000 with a capacity to seat 900 to 1,000 people. The Board of Visitors approved of the name "Trinkle" for the new dining hall in honor of Governor E. Lee Trinkle who responded so promptly with funding for its construction. Charles M. Robinson was the architect hired for the design.
Circa 1941, a sound system was installed in Trinkle Hall and a bookstore and soda shop (both owned and operated by the College of William and Mary) became part of the new dining hall circa 1942-1943. Trinkle Hall was remodeled and redecorated in Fall 1950 and the bookstore moved into Taliaferro Hall around that same time. The aesthetically pleasing "Garden Room" and "Topaz Room" replaced the old bookstore while the small cafeteria was transformed into the "Pagoda Room," a popular spot for students because it contained a large-screen television. The soda shop was discontinued circa 1960 when the Campus Center opened. A pub opened within Trinkle in the Fall 1970. The construction of the Commons Dining Hall in 1967 eventually led to the demise of the Trinkle dining hall and it closed in 1972.
In the mid-1970's the "Hoi Polloi" was located just behind the Campus Center in old Trinkle Hall. Frequented by students and faculty in an atmosphere less formal than that of the classroom the Hoi Polloi provided rock bands, folk bands, dances and amatuer night entertainment.
In 1983, a $1.2 million renovation of Trinkle Hall was proposed to transform the building into a student-activities center and to alleviate overcrowding at the Commons Dining Hall. In October of that 1984, Trinkle Hall became a part of the Campus Center, with the name "Trinkle Hall" being reserved for the large room in the old Trinkle Hall. Hanging over the fireplace in Trinkle Hall is a large English coat of arms that, ironically, has no connection to the College. Trinkle Hall and the Campus Center are located across from the historic campus on Jamestown Road.
- University Archives Buildings File (2007), Trinkle Hall, Earl Gregg Swem Library, The College of William and Mary.