225 Bay State Road

Walking Tour of Historical Boston University

225 Bay State Road

Boston, Massachusetts 02115, United States

Created By: Boston University


Aside from Marsh Chapel, this building is perhaps the most detailed and ornate. Clearly constructed in the Gothic style, students have long referred to it affectionatley as “The Castle.”

This building was constructed in 1905 by a fellow named William Lindsay. (Lindsay was a writer of Gothic novels, but he actually made his fortune with a simple little invention known as the ammunition belt, which he sold to the British military, promising that it would help them win the Boer War.)

The building itself is in the Gothic tradition, specifically a Tudor-revival mansion, and Lindsay had planned to give it as a wedding gift to his daughter in 1915. Unfortunately, however, his daughter and her new husband had set off for their honeymoon on a ship known as the Lusitania, which we all now know was struck by a torpedo from a German U-boat during World War I. The couple died, and the event itself propelled the United States to enter the War.

Broken-hearted, Lindsay allowed the house to fall into disrepair, especially during the Great Depression, and, in 1939, it was bought by a University Trustee for a tremendous bargain—simply the back taxes owed to the city. The Trustee donated the house to Boston University, and insisted that it serve as a home for the University President. Daniel L. Marsh, the fourth President of Boston University, and his family moved into the Castle that same year. The funny thing is that President Marsh was an ardent Prohibitionist so, with some irony, it’s worth noting that the place Marsh once called home is now the location of BU’s one and only pub on campus.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Walking Tour of Historical Boston University


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