200 Commonwealth Avenue
200 Commonwealth Avenue was designed by Allen and Kenway, architects, and built in 1882 by Leander Greeley and James Smith, builders, one of two contiguous houses (200 Commonwealth-202 Commonwealth). It was built as the home of druggist John James French and his wife, Frances (Stratton) French. He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application for 200 Commonwealth; his mother-in-law, Sarah (Piper) French, the widow of Charles Edwin Stratton, is shown as the owner on the original application for 202 Commonwealth. Both permit applications were dated June 23, 1882.
By 1915, 200 Commonwealth was owned by the Foster Family and in that year was converted into a private school. Foster Wharf Company is shown as the owner on a September 22, 1915, permit application seeking approval of interior renovations and indicating that the new use of the building would be for a school, and Caroline B. Foster is shown as the owner of 200 Commonwealth on the 1917 Bromley map.
The school appears to have been operated by Miss Fannie C. Guild and Miss Jennie Evans. They and their school also were listed at 29 Fairfield Street in the 1915 and 1917 Blue Books.
The house was not listed in the 1922 Blue Book.
By 1923, 200 Commonwealth was the home of Mrs. Elizabeth Wakefield (Cleaves) Storrs, the widow of attorney Leslie K. Storrs, and her daughter, Helen. They continued to live there in 1928.
The house was not listed in the 1929-1937 Blue Books.
By the 1940s, 200 Commonwealth was a lodging house.
In April of 1947, it was owned by Irving and Beryl Kennedy, who changed the legal occupancy from a lodging house to a lodging house with two apartments. In 1949, they added more kitchens and bathrooms, and converted it into a lodging house with four apartments. And in November of 1954, they remodeled it further and converted it into eleven apartments.
By 1965, 200 Commonwealth was owned by Arnold and Frances Schutzberg, who proposed converting the eleven apartments back into a lodging house for 48 people (probably a dormitory).
On August 19, 1965, before completing the conversion, the Schutzbergs sold 200 Commonwealth to Back Bay Dormitories, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Newbury College, which converted the house into a dormitory for 38 students and an apartment for the house director.
By 1986, Back Bay Dormitories owned 198, 200, 202, 204, and 206 Commonwealth and 138 Marlborough Street. On December 29, 1986, Back Bay Dormitories transferred all of these properties to Newbury College and liquidated its operations effective the end of the year.
In the 1990s, Newbury College moved its operations from the Back Bay to Fisher Avenue in Brookline.
In December of 1996. 202 Commonwealth, Inc., sold 198 Commonwealth and it was converted back into a single-family dwelling.202 Commonwealth, Inc., retained 200-202-204 Commonwealth, combined the properties, and converted them into eight condominiums in January of 1998.