Dahod Family Alumni Center at the Castle
Dahod Family Alumni Center at the Castle
225 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215 (map)
A beautiful collection of spaces for gatherings large and small: Great Hall, Music Room, Library, Dining Room and, in summer, a lovely outdoor terrace and patio.
Please Read: Booking Considerations
The BU Club (Faculty Dining Room) operates on the first floor of the Dahod Family Alumni Center at The Castle on weekdays from 11:30 AM – 2 PM during the academic year, offering a buffet lunch for paying guests. Reservations for a table in the main dining area can be made on Open Table. Additionally, the Library room is available for private lunch meetings (with the same food served in the main dining area) and can be reserved through the BU Club manager.
When the BU Club is open on weekdays, events cannot begin in the Dahod Family Alumni Center until 6 PM. This is the event start time; set up time will begin at 3 PM. On weekends, during the summer, and when the BU Club is not open, there are no time restrictions for events.
Events must always use the existing BU Club tables and chairs. These items cannot be removed from the building, and there is very little storage space in the building so any event setup must incorporate the existing tables and chairs as much as possible.
Receptions, served meals, and buffet meals are the types of events allowed in the Dahod Family Alumni Center; lectures and any other types of event are not allowed. When booked for an event, the entire first floor is included: Great Hall, Library, Dining Room, and Music Room. No other spaces within the building are included. The back terrace may be used for events when weather permits.
Handicapped Access and Leventhal Center Auditorium Access
Handicapped access for this location will be through the Leventhal Center, utilizing the elevator off of the entry vestibule to get up to the door that will access the first floor of the Dahod Family Alumni Center.
The outer entrance doors and stairwell door in the Leventhal Center, and the door between the Leventhal Center and the Dahod Family Alumni Center will be unlocked one hour prior to the start of each event and locked 15 minutes after the end time of each event.
Note: For events in the Leventhal Center Auditorium only, door access into the Leventhal Center will begin one hour prior to the start of each event and will end 15 minutes after the end time of each event. No doors between the Leventhal Center and the Dahod Family Alumni Center will be unlocked for events taking place only in the Leventhal Center.
25Live: View details on this location
Room Usage Fee: View the current room usage fee.
What’s Included: Great Hall, Library, Dining Room, and Music Room. No other spaces within the building are included. The back terrace may be used for events when weather permits.
Nearby locations: Fuller’s BU Pub, Hillel House, Leventhal Admissions Center
Audio-Visual: LETS technician must be requested.
Maximum Capacity: 125 ppl
- Seated dinner: up to 64 ppl
- Buffet: up to 40 ppl
- Reception with limited seating: up to 125 ppl
- Lectures: up to 60 ppl
A variety of setup diagrams are provided below. Maximum capacity for each is in parentheses.
Reception and Buffet Meal (30)
Reception and Buffet Meal (48)
Reception and Plated Dinner (30)
Reception and Plated Dinner (40)
Reception and Plated Dinner (46)
Additional 360° views
Library Music Room (1) Music Room (2) Dining Room
Learn more about the history of the Castle
The Dahod Family Alumni Center at the Castle, a graceful Tudor Revival mansion now a part of Boston University, was originally built as a residence for William Lindsey (1858–1922), a prominent Boston businessman who made his fortune with a patented cartridge belt used by the British Army during the Boer War. The building ranks as one of Boston’s most picturesque structures and was cited by architectural historian Bainbridge Bunting in his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay as displaying “the most convincing medieval effect of the area.”This description would have greatly pleased William Lindsey, who derived his inspiration for the Castle from the great manor houses of Tudor England. The imposing style of these medieval mansions held a special allure for Lindsey, who, besides being a successful businessman, was also a poet and playwright. His writings, such as The Severed Mantle: A Romance of Medieval Provence and The Red Wine of Roussill, a blank-verse drama set in France during the Middle Ages, reveal the same fascination with the antique and the romantic that pervades the design of the Castle.
Located at 225 Bay State Road, the building was designed by the architectural firm of Chapman and Frazer, then the Back Bay’s leading advocate of late medieval/early Renaissance styles. Studies for the house began in the winter of 1904; construction was completed in 1915 at a cost of more than $500,000. Much of the exterior was modeled after the beautiful, old English mansion Athelhampton Hall in Dorsetshire, which Lindsey had visited and admired. The south wing of Athelhampton—with its great mullioned windows, stone dormers, and beautiful Gothic Bay—served as the inspiration for the Castle’s south wing and stone bay. The stone—a variety of Ohio sandstone known as Buff Amherst—was selected for its warm color. The stone carvings on the building’s exterior were done by Hugh Cairns, who also sculpted the frieze above the porch of Trinity Church in Copley Square.
While the interior of the Dahod Family Alumni Center was executed in several period styles, the result is still English and harmonious. The Great Hall, with its dark mahogany paneling, beamed ceiling, and massive hooded fireplace, is distinctly medieval in feeling. Suspended from the two-story ceiling is a stained-glass lantern which, according to tradition, came from Arundel Castle, the ancient family home of the Dukes of Norfolk. It is made of gilded metal, and each colored glass pane bears a coat of arms and the motto Nil desperandum (Never despair). A gilt crusader stands leaning on his sword between the panes of glass.
To the right of the Great Hall overlooking the Charles River is the Library. Here, the medieval motif is modified by classical columns and pilasters, a modillioned cornice ornamenting the built-in bookcases, and gently entwining vines of roses, thistles, and pomegranates in the plaster frieze. The rose, a centuries-old symbol of the Tudor family, reappears in the decorative work of almost every room. The swan crest over the fireplace and in the ceiling design is from the ancestral line of Mrs. Lindsey.
The elegant Music Room at the front of the house is also done in Classical Revival style. The light color, the large windows, and the mirror over the mantle suggest the joyful and opulent character of the dances and concerts for which this room was designed.
Directly across the Great Hall from the Library is the Georgian Revival Dining Room. Fluted, engaged columns frame the green marble fireplace, and the Tudor rose is once again evident in the robust garlands of fruits and flowers ornamenting the walls and ceiling. The tapestry on the wall opposite the fireplace, depicting four women and the two men in the landscape, is of French origin.
William Lindsey insisted on the finest quality and craftsmanship in both the design and décor of the Castle. The English oak and mahogany paneling throughout the first floor was hand-carved by craftsmen brought from Europe. Lindsey furnished the Castle with antiques and art treasures collected from around the world, some of which have now been donated to the Castle by his descendants. Among the original furnishings was a Renaissance bronze church door from Italy, which now stands in the Great Hall between the Music Room and the Dining Room. The door’s panels depict the Temptation of Eve and the Three Graces and bear the date Anno MDLXXX (1580).
Tragedy struck shortly after the building’s completion. Married in the Castle in 1915, Lindsey’s eldest daughter and her bridegroom sailed for a European honeymoon aboard the ill-fated Lusitania and were among the more than 1,000 passengers who lost their lives when the ship was torpedoed by a German submarine. The grief-stricken Lindsey later constructed the magnificent Leslie Lindsey Memorial Chapel in Emmanuel Church on Newbury Street in his daughter’s memory.
Boston University received the Castle in 1939 as a joint gift of Mr. Oakes Ames and University Trustee Dr. William E. Chenery and his wife; Mr. Ames had purchased the Castle in 1926 from William Lindsey’s widow. From 1939 until 1967, the Castle served as the home of Boston University’s presidents. During Harold Case’s tenure as president, he welcomed over 20,000 students into the Castle for a series titled “Adventure in Conversation,” to which students were invited to discuss academic topics and current events. Today it is one of the most beautiful and impressive event venues in Boston.