Architectural Plans: 217 Commonwealth (1888)

McKim, Mead, and White’s original design of 217 Commonwealth included bays flanking the front entrance, with a two-story central portico extending to the first floor.

As built, the ground level story projected across the entire front of the building, connecting the area between the bays at the east and west ends of the building with the entrance, with a two-story portico structure above extending to the second floor. This design created a balcony enclosed with a balustrade accessible from the first floor reading room, across the center of the building between the two flanking bays.

On November 9, 1888, the Boston Globe published drawings of the front elevation and the floor plans for the first, second, and third stories.

217 Commonwealth, front elevation; Boston Globe, 9Nov1888

217 Commonwealth, first floor; Boston Globe, 9Nov1888

217 Commonwealth, second floor; Boston Globe, 9Nov1888

217 Commonwealth, third floor; Boston Globe, 9Nov1888