Sold: Roy Banwell-Designed Lincoln Mid-Century-Modern Gem

Click to see full slideshow and floor plans

Full post with slideshow and floor plans below, or click here.

5 Old Conant Road, Lincoln. Offered at $979,000. (Under agreement.)

The word “stunning” is thrown around a lot in real estate marketing. We’re guilty as well of its overuse (at least we’ve never used “fireplaced” as an adjective!) But we are sent running to our well-thumbed thesaurus to find words to describe the impact one feels when approaching this house at 5 Old Conant Road in Lincoln via a New England stonewall-lined gravel driveway, walking up through its lush gardens, opening the door, and soaking in the views of the idyllic setting — through the sliding doors on the opposite side of the house — of almost two acres, surrounded by additional conservation buffers. A guest is not sure where to first direct his/her eyes, as the soaring architecture of the house equals the drama of the view of the gently rolling land that surrounds the house. One stands on the slate floors of the entry and is at eye level with the living room (ok, fireplaced, ha!), which is up a few steps, and is bathed in natural light from the huge windows. Looking to the right, one gets a glimpse of the modern kitchen with a very large eat-in area. And, without taking another step, the guest can look down a few steps, into one of the three bedrooms on the first floor, itself swathed in the light through windows on two sides, with yet another perspective of the surrounding land. The fourth bedroom, the master suite, is on the second floor.

The house is an outstanding custom-designed Modernist gem by Roy Banwell for a classmate of his from Yale, David Sykes. From a biography of Banwell:

Roy Banwell, AIA, graduated from Yale in 1951, spent three years in the Navy, and then completed the march with a year in London at the AA and two years at Pennsylvania State University. He moved to Hanover in 1957 to work for E. H. and M. K. Hunter and in 1966 established what is now Banwell Architects.

The house was sensitively sited on one of the lots carved from the farm that was developed into much of Old Conant Road and Hawk Hill Road. As can be seen on the plot plan (available at property), the original group of owners purchased 60 acres or so and subdivided their own lots (lots 1-7 on the plot plan). They all designed/built their homes in 1959/60 and worked to later subdivide the “hammerhead” lots, setting aside much of the boundaries with conservation restrictions. The farm’s foundations are still visible up Hawk Hill.

Additionally, the landowners arranged to cut off this portion of what was then a continuation of Old County R0ad, and creating Old Conant Road, which forks into Conant Road. Notably, at the fork and adjacent to the property of 5 Old Conant, is the Modernist landmark Earl Flansburgh house. By creating the new road, they ended the possibility of Old County Road being one long cut-through from Route 117 to Trapelo Road, which would be awfully tempting at times to use in lieu of Route 128. Instead, there remains a quiet country lane vibe to the neighborhood. Incidentally, the current owner works in the Seaport District in downtown Boston. By taking 117 and connecting to the Mass Pike, he has repeatedly timed his commute around 22 minutes to be at the office at 10 a.m. There is also a commuter rail station in Lincoln.

The owners have improved the house by reclaiming windows that have been covered up, replacing some flooring, removing a closet that blocked flow, installing water softening and filtrations systems, adding new lighting, and central air conditioning. Here are some of the other improvements they have made:

  • Carrier Hi-Eff Oil Furnace/AC – Installed April 2006
  • GE Neutralizer/Softener Water Treatment System – Installed  November 2010
  • New Kitchen Floor (VCT tile to resemble concrete floor) – January 2005
  • New Arcadia Low-E Slider – Installed December 2011
  • Multiple Windows to be replaced –September 2013 (order placed)
  • New LG Steam Washer/Dryer – Purchased  September 2012
  • Audio/Visual System, including internal wiring and outdoor speaker system with volume control – Installed January 2005
  • New Dbox for Septic System – Installed November 2004
  • Ikea Pax Stordal Closet System – Installed December 2006 (included in sale)
  • Interface Carpet Tiles in downstairs BRs – Installed January 2005
  • Interior Paint Job (entire house) – January 2005
  • Exterior Paint Job (house/shed) – June 2010
  • Nelson Bubble Lamp in Entry Hallway – January 2005
  • Flos Flucsia Suspension Lamps (three) – March 2005
  • Chimney Crown Replacement and Stainless Steel Liner Installation – June 2011
  • Invisible Dog Fence System (two-acre circumference & operational) – January 2005 at price of $2082
  • Roof — According to town card, 30-year roof installed 2000