297 Commonwealth was designed by Peabody and Stearns, architects, and built in 1899-1900 by Woodbury & Leighton, builders
Plans for house are included in the Peabody and Stearns Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference PS/MA.051).
The drawing of the front elevation includes a notation indicating that it is one of fourteen drawings referenced in a contract dated November 2, 1899, between Jessie Draper and Woodbury & Leighton. The drawings accessible in the Peabody and Stearns Collection include four of the fourteen indicated in the notation.
As originally designed, 297 Commonwealth had an open area on the western side in the rear of the building, as shown on the excerpt from 1902 Bromley map to the right. The front façade was designed to complement the façade of 303 Commonwealth, designed by McKim, Mead, and White and built in 1895-1896 for George Nickerson, with the balustrade and cornice at the same levels and the top story set back to the same line.
These images, provided courtesy of the Boston Public Library, include the front elevation, rear elevation, elevation of the western side of the house, showing the inset rear area, and elevation of the eastern side of the house, showing its relationship to the existing party wall with 295 Commonwealth, called “Wheatland Party Wall.”
The original plans are fragile, in poor condition, and somewhat discolored. These images have been enhanced to improve readability.