Woodburn Circle, comprised of Martin Hall, Woodburn Hall, and Chitwood Hall, is the historic center of West Virginia University. The name Woodburn was selected by Reverend John R. Moore, principal of the Monongalia Academy and later superintendent of the Woodburn Female Seminary. Woodburn, meaning "a streamlet in a shady glen," described the grove of beech trees and the Falling Run stream which once bordered the area.
Martin Hall, completed in 1870, was first called University Hall, then named Preparatory Hall in 1876 before becoming Martin Hall in 1899 in honor of WVU's first president, Alexander Martin. The interior of the building was renovated in the mid-1970s: the exterior was restored in 1993.
Woodburn Hall was completed in 1876 on the site of the Woodburn Seminary. It was first called New Hall, then University Hall in 1878, becoming Woodburn Hall in 1902. The north wing was added in 1900, the south wing in 1911. A Seth Thomas clock was placed in the center tower in 1911. The interior of the building was renovated in 1979; the exterior restoration was completed in 1993.
Chitwood Hall was completed in 1893 and called Science Hall. In 1972, it was renamed in honor of Oliver P. Chitwood, professor of history. The interior of the building was renovated in 1978; the exterior was restored in 1987.