The Five Fields Neighborhood Details and History
- Both Five Fields and the Five Fields Pool are separate corporations.Five Fields Inc. owns the common land – it pays the taxes and owns all liabilities. The only connection to the houses is that residents of Five Fields have the right to serve on the board of directors.
The pool is the same – a separate corporation with a board of directors to be selected from the residents.
People are legally free to pay no dues and have no liabilities for the common land or the pool. The connection between residents and these 2 corporations is voluntary.
The below is taken from our history of Five Fields, which is included in an overview of the modernist communities found in Lexington, here at this page (includes a video tour of Five Fields, Moon Hill, and Peacock Farm).
TAC purchased the old Cutler Farm, and the young firm moved forward on their conception of a development that they would control from beginning to end. While the houses of Six Moon Hill in Lexington were mainly built as a community to house the highly collaborative The Architects Collaborative (TAC) partners and associates themselves (Bauhaus and TAC founder, Walter Gropius, built his own famous house out in the nearby town of Lincoln), the architects also conceived of their next such development of spec houses to sell to other home buyers and chose a farm on the southwestern part of town. This became the neighborhood known as Five Fields.
One of the original eight TAC partners, Dick Morehouse, a resident of Moon Hill, oversaw the project and even acted as a salesman, showing the new homes to interested buyers.
The project was conceptualized as 68 house sites, though the initial phase consisted of 20 houses built in 1951, 1952, and 1953, the sales of which would finance the rest of the project. The original price points of these homes—some of which now fetch close to $2 million– ranged from about $18,000-$35,000.
“For twenty years after the establishment of the neighborhood, TAC approval had to be obtained for additions. The restriction expired in the early 1970s. Today, almost all of the houses have been modified or added onto over the years, obscuring what was originally a neighborhood of houses built as variations on a few standard plans.” (See link to the source below).
As one of the other original partners, Chip Harkness, explained to the Boston Globe several years ago, describing the goals of the TAC when they set out to build Moon Hill, “An initial goal was low-income housing. We were shooting to build homes for under $15,000. That’s quite a bit less than the $1 million one of the houses recently went for.” Like Moon Hill, form followed function in the design of the Five Fields houses, the homes were sited sympathetically into their surroundings and the existing contours of the land, and there was common land set aside and a swimming pool, a playground with playing fields, and a skating pond, for the community. This community spirit carries on today in both Moon Hill and Five Fields.
See Five Fields in our video of the neighborhood and other midcentury-modern neighborhoods history here.