Staying faithful to modernist roots during a Lincoln kitchen redo
The owners asked their architect to rethink the dated 1950s galley kitchen while playing off the glass-backed home’s original sensibilities.
In deciding to purchase the glass-backed split-level 1955 home in Tabor Hill, a modernist colony in Lincoln, Joanne and Tom Arneman were drawn to its history as much as its design. The architects were a husband-and-wife duo, Robert T. and Jean Coolidge (he was a relative of President Calvin Coolidge), who attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design in the 1940s; Jean Coolidge was in its first class of female architects. That appealed to the Arnemans, who have entertained the idea of going into business together.
"Their story helped us form an attachment to the house," Tom says. And because it was created for the architects' goddaughter, the house was built with sturdier-than-usual materials and construction methods. "It came from his heart," Tom says.
The Arnemans, who moved from Arlington in May with their kids, Eva, 6, and Roman, 4, hired Colin Flavin of Boston-based Flavin Architects to rethink the dated 1950s galley kitchen. Playing off the original sensibilities, Flavin widened the footprint to a still-modest 10 feet by 16 feet to add some breathing room and accommodate the must-have island. Flavin left the kitchen in the center of the home, with the dining room in front and the family room behind, but opened up a wall with an ingenious cabinet design to take advantage of the woodsy view.
"The style is sympathetic to the original era," Flavin says. "I think the Coolidges would have really liked it."