History of Friends of Modern ARchitecture (FoMa)

In spring of 2003, Lucretia Giese, Harry Hoover, Kathy McHugh, David Ries, and Dana and Joe Robbat began to talk about their mutual interest in the protection of Lincoln’s smaller housing stock and Modern architecture. The group saw these areas of concern as related. Kathy and David had been involved with housing issues in the Town. Dana had written her Harvard Master's thesis on the history of the early Modern houses of Lincoln. Lucretia and Harry were beginning to conduct their own research into the work of their father, Modern architect Henry B. Hoover. As its focus shifted to Modern architecture in Lincoln, this group became the genesis of FoMA.

It soon recognized that an organization was necessary to carry out the concerns of the group, namely raising awareness and preservation of the Town’s exceptional holdings of Modern buildings. The name of the organization became Friends of Modern Architecture/Lincoln (FoMA). In March 2004, FoMA was officially announced to the Town in a Lincoln Journal article written by Barbara Rhines, and incorporated in August 2005 with Dana Robbat as president, John Robinson as treasurer, and Lucretia Giese as secretary. Other board members included chairs of programming, public relations, membership, preservation issues, and Town liaison. In 2006, FoMA initiated its first membership drive with a Town-wide mailing that featured FoMA’s original logo designed by Lincoln artist Amy Goodwin. FoMA became a 501 C-3 organization in May 2008.

It became apparent that in order to fulfill its objectives, FoMA needed to document Lincoln’s Modern buildings. Funding came from a grant from the Ogden Codman Trust in 2006. FoMA has continued to commission inventories using Town-approved funding from the Community Preservation Act with the support of the Lincoln Historical Commission. These Inventories and Area Studies provide information about Lincoln’s Modern architectural history that is helpful to the Town, scholars, and interested members of the public. They are publically available at the Lincoln Town Offices and the Lincoln Public Library. Inventories undertaken by The Lincoln Historical Commission of historic structures that are not Modern are also housed with the Library.