Preservation Massachusetts's People's Preservation Choice Award's are live and the Dahod Family Alumni Center at Boston University (The Castle) is a nominee. If you love our preservation work and want to continue supporting preservation in the Commonwealth, head here to vote for the Castle!
More about the Castle:
Designed in 1910 by George F. Bosworth of the firm Chapman and Frazer (Roxbury Bromley Atlas), 225 Bay State Road, better known as “The Castle,” was completed in 1915. This Tudor eclectic-style building first served as a home to various families and was later donated to Boston University in 1938 to be used as the residence of the University’s presidents.
The great hall on the first floor and its’ surrounding parlors and library feature Victorian detailing — each room is unique in style. Much of the woodwork was salvaged from existing buildings in England and brought to the United States by William Windsor, to be custom-fit to each room. The rooms were also used for a myriad of small lectures and musical performances for students at the invitation of the University president. The Castle remained the president’s home until 1967, when the upstairs bedrooms were converted into office space for the University and the lower floors were used for official functions, weddings, and other events.
Finegold Alexander Architects, along with a team of engineers and specialty consultants, transformed this distinguished and historic mansion into a vibrant new Alumni Center serving Boston University’s 300,000-plus graduates. The building suffered from long-standing issues including: accumulated soot on the exterior, deteriorated stone and mortar, the roof slates were at the end of their life, water infiltration damage inside and out,code and access deficiencies, and low energy performance. The restoration project includes a complete exterior restoration, full MEP systems replacement, selective interior renovation and restoration, and an addition to the lower level including a new commercial kitchen to expand the BU Pub, a popular gathering place for the BU community at the back of the property.
The project preserved a beloved campus icon, yet adapted it for contemporary use, successfully creating a home away from home for the University’s vast alumni network. The design team transformed the building—which had once been an inward-looking private residence—into a fully-accessible center to engage, entertain,and delight a multi-generational alumni community. The Dahod Family Alumni Center at The Castle literally and figuratively puts alumni at the heart of the Charles River campus and in this spirit, the Castle will continue to be an iconic, high profile location for numerous alumni, faculty and student events.
The Castle remains a contributing resource in Boston’s Bay State Road/Back Bay West Historic District.