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He told me that the meeting was in the hall before I had even framed the question.

Could I change above explanation as follow

He told me that the meeting was in the hall before I even framed the question at first.

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    It would be fine to use Simple Past (I framed) instead of Past Perfect (I had framed) in your context. But at first is completely out of place in your second example. And "framing questions" is unnecessary verbosity - just say ...before I['d] even asked. Commented Mar 17 at 12:16

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