These books are available through the Minuteman Library Network:

“Voiceprints of Lincoln  An Oral history” by Ruth Moulton 1991

Includes a chapter by Isabel Peirce 

about her family’s farm and living in Lincoln.

“A Rich Harvest  The History, Buildings, and people of Lincoln, Massachusetts”

  John C. MacLean  1987

Photos of other homes by architect George W. W. Brewster:


“Design Of Modern Interiors”  

by John Ford and Katherine Morrow Ford 1942

“Classic Modern Homes of the Thirties” 

by John Ford and Katherine Morrow Ford 1940

“How Buildings Learn  What Happens After They’re Built”

by Stewart Brand 1994

Magazine article on the Early Modern House:

“A Reverent Renovation” by Andrew Caffrey 

The Boston Globe Magazine  June 6 2007 p.64.

An exhaustively complete history of the Peirce Hill area

is available at the Lincoln Library:

ask for the

“The Peirce Hill Road Area Study”

It is also available online at:

Homeowners Comments

In 1970, we found a tiny cube of a house hidden up an old farm lane; it was the right price, so we bought it. It has been our house ever since. Cyrus Murphy designed the original structure in 1937 for himself and his wife. It had had two owners who scarcely changed it before it became ours.

My father Henry B. Hoover convinced us that he could modify it when we were ready, and in 1976 we asked him to do just that. Using the basic structure of the Murphy House, Hoover enlivened its basic boxiness, reorienting the interior with an interior spiral staircase, and judiciously adding space, changes that completely transformed the house. Only the 1937 bathroom remained intact.

Many years later, in 2004 we asked Gary Wolf to modify and add to Hoover’s design to suit our retirement needs. Substantively the kitchen and entry hall were involved. In the process, Wolf sensitively respected Hoover’s work while putting his own stamp on the house.

Homeowners Comments

We are located on an unusual lot that is concealed from the road up a long shared driveway. The house was thoughtfully sited running east-west and nestled against the uphill property boundary adjacent to a parcel of undeveloped and now protected land. This siting maximizes the sense of seclusion, takes advantage of the natural topography and provides southern exposure. The massing of the house is a single, long, extruded volume on one level. The interior is a simple and practical layout that works as well today as when designed a half century ago. This simple clarity is the house’s defining characteristic and in conjunction with the lot and siting is what attracted us to it.

In 2004, when we purchased the house, it was suffering from much deferred maintenance and would have been considered a tear down by many. We devised a conceptually simple scheme to enlarge the kitchen, and add a mudroom, laundry and garage over a basement portion containing work space and storage by simply continuing to extrude the existing volume. Access to the newly created basement space takes advantage of the hillside to provide walk-out access on the down-slope side.

The house and its plan are a clear effort to reconcile the building traditions of New England with the modern ideas of living and function. It organizes space around a central hearth while still embracing an open plan. It takes advantage of the structural, water shedding and insulating efficiency of a pitched roof but still embraces large expanses of glass. For me, the design, function and appearance are still current which speaks to fundamental soundness of the the original concept: a modern and updated take on the cabin in the woods.