KATHY BRYAN LOVED the idea of owning a mid-century modern home on Cape Cod. However, the property she purchased four years ago with her husband on Mystic Lake in Marstons Mills was more stuck-in-the-’70s relic than architectural gem. That is, until David Eisen, principal architect at Allston-based Abacus Architects + Planners, took charge.
Bryan and her husband used to rent on the Cape almost 40 years ago, when she was in law school at Northeastern. When they relocated from Chicago to New York City in 2008, the couple took advantage of their newfound proximity to buy there. “It will be our retirement home,” she says. “I wanted a house on a lake, and he wanted a place on the Cape, so it’s the perfect compromise.”
They also took advantage of other longstanding ties, namely their relationship with Eisen, whose wife Bryan knew from her law school days. Bryan explains: “I’ve known David for 35 years; he did some work for us when we lived in Boston, back when he was a baby architect. When we needed an architect here, of course I called him.”
The couple were attracted to the home for its location and size — about 3,800 square feet on two levels, big enough for entertaining their two grown children, extended family, and friends. Eisen, given free rein with the design, says, “They basically told me, ‘Make it right; make it a place we love.’ ”
Eisen describes the original house as a “1970s period piece, in both the good sense and the bad.” To the builder’s credit, the house was post-and-beam construction, with a tent-like roof and lots of windows. “That’s not a bad place to start,” he says.
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