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Brandeis University's Usen Castle Slated for Partial Demolition ... Or Not

Effort underway to spare campus' oldest building as school plans dorm conversion

Brandeis University's Usen Castle in Waltham houses dozens of sophomores as well as a coffeehouse. The 1928 building is also the school's oldest and is on the National Register of Historic Places. That is what makes Brandeis' current plans to demolish most of Usen Castle to make way for even more dorm rooms a tad controversial.

The university said that its demolition will preserve the castle's two main towers— which it describes as the "most iconic and visible parts," according to the Globe's Jennifer Fenn Lefferts—but that is not enough for some surrounding residents. They want all of the castle left in place post-renovation; or at least they want Brandeis to try really, really hard to do so.

To that end, the Waltham Historical Commission is holding a meeting this evening to review the demolition plans. If the group finds that the castle can be preserved in whole, then that could delay any teardowns for a year. If not, then Brandeis will likely start construction in the spring of 2017, and wrap things in time for 2018's fall semester. Stay tuned.

Usen Castle @ Brandeis

415 South St, Waltham, MA 02453