This monumental French Second Empire building occupies a historic spot. Out front, a plaque commemorates the site of the country's first public school, Boston Latin, founded in 1635 and still operational in Fenway. The hopscotch sidewalk mosaic, City Carpet, marks the site where Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Charles Bulfinch were educated.

Statues of Benjamin Franklin, founding father, and Josiah Quincy, second mayor of Boston, stand inside the courtyard. They are accompanied by a life-size replica of a donkey, symbol of the Democratic Party. (‘Why the donkey?’ you wonder. Read the plaque to find out.) Two bronze footprints ‘stand in opposition.’