The Castle (Waltham, Massachusetts)
|Location||415 South St., Waltham, Massachusetts|
|NRHP Reference #||79000359|
|Added to NRHP||April 09, 1979|
The Castle, also known as Usen Castle, is a historic building at 415 South Street in Waltham, Massachusetts. The Medieval structure, built in the style of a Norman castle in 1928, stands on the campus of Brandeis University, where it serves as a dormitory. The building, the design of which is unlike any other on the campus or in the city, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Description and history
Usen Castle is located atop Boston Rock, one of the highest points on the Brandeis campus. It consists of a series of six sections, connected to form an enclosed courtyard. It is exterior, apparently inspired by Cavendish Castle in Ireland), features a wide variety of turrets, towers, crenellations, and pinnacles. A variety of unusual materials were used in its construction, including colored concrete and ceramic inlays. The interior retains Gothic features, giving the current student residential uses a distinctive feel not found in other residences on the campus.
The Castle was built in 1928 by Dr. John Hall Smith, founder of the Middlesex College of Medicine and Surgery, whose campus it stood on until the school closed in 1945. The campus and school charter were acquired by the founders of Brandeis. The building at first houses administrative offices as well as a dormitory and dining hall, but was converted to exclusively residential use in the 1950s. The building is one of two to survive on the campus from its Middlesex College days, and is a sharp contrast to the otherwise modern buildings there.