A Modern Home With History

A Modern Home With History

Sarah Rainwater
Mar 2, 2010

Location: Lincoln, Massachusetts
Size: 2,200 square feet

Modernism is not always what comes to mind when we think of historic architecture in New England. But in the town of Lincoln, Massachusetts there are some true gems of modern residential architecture dating back to the 1930s, like this home originally built by Cyrus Murphy in 1937 and then renovated by Henry B. Hoover in 1975 and again more recently in 2005 by architect Gary Wolf.

When the homeowners commissioned Wolf to update their space, they wanted it done in a way that was mindful of the home's modernist origin. That meant that even though they revised and expanded the kitchen and made some additions to various other parts of the house, they sought, in their words, to "maintain the house's smallness for ecological reasons while accentuating the sense of spaciousness. It was not necessary to destroy in order to create something new."

An important tenet of modernism is architecture's harmonious relationship with the landscape and this home sits beautifully amidst the surrounding woods and gardens, which were designed by landscape architect Jonathan Keep. Inside, the thoughtful combination of modern and antique furniture — which can be a challenge in a contemporary space — are placed minimally, allowing light and the outdoors to become an integral part of the interior.

Lincoln is also where you can find the Gropius House designed by Walter Gropius in 1938 (now a museum) as well as nearly 70 other modern homes. The Friends of Modern Architecture (FoMA) Lincoln is a group that seeks to preserve and promote the town's rich architectural history. Visit their website, www.fomalincoln.org, to find more information about upcoming tours, lectures and events as well as view listings of modern homes for sale in the area.

Images: Sarah Rainwater

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