225 Bay State Road is better known within the Boston University network as “The Castle.” Completed in 1915 as one of the first residences along Bay State Road, it was originally the private home of wealthy industrialist William Lindsey. The architects, Chapman and Frazer, were advocates of this Tudor eclectic style building because they felt it was particularly suited for the climate and culture of New England. Over time, the BU campus developed around the home. In 1938, the property was donated to BU, first serving as the residence of BU Presidents and lecture space. In 1967, due to security issues caused by massive student protests of the Vietnam War, BU decided the building should no longer house the President. It was then converted into office and event space on the upper floors and the basement became home to the BU Pub. With this current massive restoration it became the Alumni Center and Faculty Club.
This transformation in use provided not just an opportunity for restoration of this unique structure but demanded transformation in functionality through mechanical and other functional aspects. Highly ornate interiors were carefully protected during construction and historic elements were meticulously researched and restored. Existing wood windows were restored or, when found to be damaged beyond repair, completely rebuilt. The sandstone was carefully cleaned and historic colors of stone and wood finishes returned after extensive analysis. The result of all this effort is an iconic building that serves as a gathering place for students and alumni at the heart of the campus while continuing to contribute to the history and character of the historic district.
“In a campus with many purpose-built, modern facilities, it’s of great value to provide a distinctive and memorable sense of place that connects to the grandeur of a residential neighborhood that’s hard to otherwise grasp. Buildings like this one allow a continuum of memory to this place and across multiple generations of students,” says Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance.