Attention Brandeis Alumni (and others):
In recent news, it has come to my attention that the administration of Brandeis University is proposing to tear down Usen Castle. They say it is old, it is falling apart, it is unsafe, and it is inefficient. See http://www.thejustice.org/article/2015/11/trustees-to-decide-on-future-of-castle for a recent article on the debate. It is well known for its bizarre architectural elements (see http://allthetropes.wikia.com/wiki/Bizarrchitecture and http://www.brandeis.edu/studentlife/dcl/roomselection/images/UsenCastle.pdf)
That may be. But it is also historic (National Registry as of 1979), iconic, and emblematic. It is the one thing, other than the university seal, that appears most on paraphernalia and imagery. When the Post Office issued a stamp in honor of the school’s 50th anniversary, it was the thing pictured on the stamp. Still listed as a popular dorm, you can see more and read more at http://omeka.lts.brandeis.edu/exhibits/show/photographs-of-the-castle-from .
For those of you in the SCA, it should be no surprise that there was a tradition of using the castle in various ways – meetings, inspiration for arms, the odd strawberry war with another borough, etc.
For those of you with ties to the BSCF, this was more or less where the club started, where many many meetings and movie nights were held, and where many many larps took place over the years.
For those of you curious about academic history, this building predates Brandeis and was the main building of the old Middlesex University (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middlesex_University_(Massachusetts)) an old medical college, and the only veterinary college in New England, until Tufts in 1978.
For those of you with memories of 90’s television, the coffee shop there is widely considered the inspiration for Central Perk in the TV show Friends.
Abbie Hoffman and Angela Davis spent time there engaged in political discourse.
In short, if you have a relevant connection to the place, and if you have an opinion on its future, now is the time to make your opinions known to those who are making decisions about it.