Walter Gropius gets all the acclaim in Massachusetts. Perhaps it’s because he taught at Harvard and his Gropius House in Lincoln, MA,looms large as a pillar of early modernist American architecture. However, he wasn’t alone, and he wasn’t the first to introduce the international modern style to the United States. Edwin B. Goodell Jr. (an MIT man just drive home the rivalry) was a member of a group of lesser-known architects that would later be called the “Invisible Modernists.” By the time Gropius and others came to the U.S. from Europe, Goodell had already designed and built a number of homes inspired by the Bauhaus aesthetic.
One of Goodell’s early homes still sits on a rocky New England hillside in Weston, MA and recently underwent a renovation by Gary Wolf Architects. Standing on the shoulders of giants like Gropius and Goodell, Gary Wolf has made a name for himself through innovative contemporary designs as well as a reputation for thoughtful historic preservation. We had the pleasure to tour this newly renovated modernist gem, featuring a Bidore 95 modern fireplace, with Gary and homeowner Catherine Riedel and ask the question, “how do you renovate an architectural icon?”