342 Commonwealth was designed by Obed F. Smith, architect, and built in 1883-1884 by Vinal & Dodge, builders, for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., probably for speculative sale. It was one of five contiguous houses (342-344-346-348-350 Commonwealth) built at the same time, and one of fifteen houses (322-326 Commonwealth and 338-360 Commonwealth) built on the same block for George Wheatland, Jr., in 1882-1884. He is shown on the original building permit application for 342 Commonwealth, dated November 10, 1883.
By the1884-1885 winter season, 342 Commonwealth was the home of William Vincent Hutchings and his wife, Ellen (Davis) Williams Hutchings. They previously had lived at the Hotel Pelham (southwest corner of Boylston and Tremont). Living with them were Ellen Hutchings’s children by her first marriage, to George Henry Williams: George Henry Williams, Jr., and Ellen Augusta Williams.
William Hutchings was a marine and fire insurance broker. He had served as a Colonel in the Civil War.
William Hutchings died in July of 1888.
George Williams married in March of 1889 to Anna Hale Thomas. After their marriage, they lived at 342 Commonwealth, and his mother and sister moved to the Hotel Vendome and then (by the 1895-1896 winter season) to 353 Marlborough. He is shown as the owner of 342 Commonwealth on the 1888, 1898, 1908, 1917, and 1928 Bromley maps, and was the assessed owner through 1930.
George Williams was a real estate dealer.
By 1922 , they also maintained a residence at the Hotel Somerset.
342 Commonwealth was shown as vacant in the 1931 City Directory.
By 1931, 342 Commonwealth was owned by Dr. Joseph Barone, a physician. He converted the property into medical offices and a multiple dwelling, either apartments or a lodging house. He and his brother, Dr. Anthony Barone, a surgeon and dentist, maintained their offices there, along with Dr. Gaetano Faillace. Joseph Barone was the assessed owner of 342 Commonwealth from 1931 through 1951.
Joseph Barone and his wife, Beatrice (de Robertis) Barone, lived in Brighton. Anthony Barone and his wife, Mildred (Knowles) Baron, lived at 282 Hanover. They also both maintained medical offices at 282 Hanover.
By 1933, several residents also were listed at 342 Commonwealth.
In about 1939, Anthony Barone purchased 214 Commonwealth and made it both his home and office. Joseph Barone continued to maintain his office at 342 Commonwealth, and both brothers continued to maintain an office together at 282 Hanover.
In February of 1941, the Building Department cited Joseph Barone for changing the occupancy of 342 Commonwealth from a single-family dwelling into a “doctor’s office and tenements” without a permit. In March of 1941, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into a doctor’s office and lodging house. In the application, he stated that the current use was a doctor’s office and four apartments.
Joseph Barone died in December of 1950. Beatrice Barone et al were the assessed owners of 342 Commonwealth in 1952.
By 1952, 342 Commonwealth was owned by Ralph Kirby and Mary E. Kirby. In June of 1952, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into nine apartments. In their application, they stated that the current occupancy was a doctor’s office and five apartments.
The Kirby Realty Corporation was the assessed owner from 1953.
Based on the City Directory entries, from 1954, the property was occupied as ten apartments.
In July of 1979, Mary E. Kirby converted the property into ten condominium units, the 342 Commonwealth Avenue Condominium.