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Algonquin Club

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1887, McKim, Mead and White. 217 Commonwealth Ave.
  • Algonquin Club (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

Anticipating by several years such Manhattan commissions as their Metropolitan and Century clubhouses, McKim, Mead and White's Algonquin Club is a monumental exercise in the Italian Renaissance. The octagonal bays of its broad limestone facade flank a projecting vestibule that supports superimposed columned balconies. Above a tall, richly ornamented frieze at the fourth-floor level, the attic is expressed as a series of horizontal tablets, punctuated by single-light window openings, and surmounted by a parapet balustrade. As originally constructed, the projection of the rusticated ground floor exceeded Back Bay setback requirements. Following a court ruling, in 1889 the facade was altered to its present appearance.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Algonquin Club", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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