Early in the 1950s when Arden on the Severn was known as Sunrise Beach, the earliest conception of Arden as a formal community began to take shape in the homes of those community members who were dedicated to the longevity of the place where they lived. Around the middle of 1954, those members formed a formal group that met regularly to discuss community business and garner input from the residents of this area. Ultimately, that group organized as the Arden Civic Association, known today as the Arden Community Association. What was missing during all of those early meetings was a community meeting place where regular meetings could be held and an open forum of ideas could be exchanged.
In 1957, ACA president Charles Jones worked faithfully to locate suitable property for the construction of a building where the community could hold events, meet on a regular basis, and be available for general community use. The community received its answer in March of that year when Beach Shores Inc. (the owner of much of Arden's land and the operator of the beaches at that time) offered 4 lots to the community organization for a building to be constructed. After voting to accept these lots, the association formed a building committee, secured an architect (Tom Di Laura), and set about the task of properly surveying, title searching, and sketching ideas for the property. Ultimately it was decided that the dimensions should be about 32x80 feet. Surprisingly, while planning the construction of the building, much discussion focused on the roof of the first floor because the future plans for the building included a second story to be eventually added.
Much of 1958 was spent clearing the land to be used. Volunteer efforts included clearing trees and cleaning the site to allow for building, and construction of a suitable roadway to allow vehicles and building materials access to the area. In early 1959, a rezoning application was successfully passed and building and septic permits were submitted, but the septic permit was the only one approved right away. A drywell septic system was started, but multiple cave-ins forced the association to bring in professionals to dig the system due to fears that someone would be hurt digging it voluntarily. This halted building on the site because of the cost and the fact that the building permit had not yet been approved.