Our Members

Introducing our members who have pre-purchased or are in the process of pre-purchasing homes in Bay State Commons.


Meet Lydia

Lydia, a data analyst at an insurance company, comes from the distant land of Mason, Michigan. She came to the Boston area in the 80’s for college, tried to leave, and couldn’t stay away. Lydia may or may not be ten to fifteen years older than she looks, but quickly changes the subject whenever age is discussed. Lydia is a rabid Detroit Tigers fan, and during her idle time (which she used to have 10+ years ago) Lydia is often seen playing solitaire, crocheting, or strumming the banjo. She lives with her son, Nathan.

Nathan Nathan, who is ten, insists he’s not as cool as his picture makes him seem (he is very humble). An expert in Legos and Minecraft, he will gladly share his vast knowledge of video games with you, whether you want him to or not. He likes to collect rocks, sticks, seashells, books, yo-yos, locks, Lego boxes, bottle caps, and used coffee lids, and will likely star in a future edition of Hoarders. He loves cats, and is deeply suspicious of cheese.


Paul and Susan

Paul learned everything he knows from Bugs Bunny cartoons, Mad magazine, Marx Brothers movies and pro wrestling heels. He nevertheless managed to get a Masters in American Studies and write the 2008 book Big Screen Boston: From Mystery Street to The Departed and Beyond. He currently works as a paper pusher at a local university.

Susan grew up in a small coastal town in Massachusetts, went to college in southwestern Virginia and lived for two years in rural northern Japan before returning to the Boston area. She spent many years working in a US-Japan cultural exchange organization before her recent move to an area university. Susan dabbles in glass art, flower arranging and pottery. She spends far too much time planning future travel, preferably to snorkeling destinations.

Fifteen years ago their love of neon, diners, and roadside attractions led Susan and Paul to take their honeymoon trip with the Society for Commercial Archeology; they have remained enthusiastic members since. They live in Malden with their pet bears (or cat), Twirp.


Frank, Mi-Rang, Matty

A sixth-grader, Matty recently was awarded his Blue Belt in Karate, performed a piano recital at the Winchester Community Music School, played violin at the Medford All City Spring Strings Concert and attends weekly 3-hour language class at the N.E. Korean School so he can better speak to his grandparents.

Mi-Rang practices immigration law, enjoys cooking, hiking, camping and being by and in the water.
Frank is a retired attorney, a stay-at-home Dad, teaches Sunday School at the Paulist Center and enjoys involvement in the Medford Boat Club where he has served on the executive board for the last six years.



ElizabethAlthough her extended family hails from Massachusetts, Elizabeth grew up in Minnesota, so naturally she loves lakes, winter and the virtues of appropriate layering. When she isn’t snowshoeing around town or cooking a novel hotdish, Elizabeth oversees several programs that encourage increased adoption of solar electricity.  In her spare time she also enjoys singing, hiking throughout New England, and trying different craft ciders.



Peter is a software developer working in biotechnology. An unrepentant New Englander, Peter went to school in Providence and now lives in Cambridge. In addition to cohousing, Peter is excited about classical music, machine learning, dragons, dungeons, and home-made bread.


Emery and Becca

Becca is a biochemist working in the Longwood Medical Area. Becca has bounced around New England, going to undergrad at Colby College, and then grad school at Boston College. She decided to marry a terribly tall possible viking redhead last summer, with whom she enjoys reading the nerdiest of scifi/fantasy books, cooking delicious food, and—gasp—video games.

Emery is a laid back couch-lounger, who enjoys draping himself across all kinds of padded seating. While draped, he fancies himself an armchair movie critic. He is a voice actor and a musician who masquerades as a computer technician five days a week. He laughs at the strangest things.

Lana is a baby. She is small and curious.



Lorraine is a singer, a potter, and an aspiring museum professional. She enjoys fuzzy things, improv harmonies, and conversational tangents. As an advocate for social justice without the energy to actually be helpful, she frequently engages in passionate arguments with her friends in which nobody is actually disagreeing with anyone else. Lorraine is also a fan of many forms of media, and collects trivia about her favorite movies, webcomics, and actors.



Vlad is a gamer, writer and social media researcher living and working in the Boston area. He was born in Russia, but has lived in the US for over twenty years, and feels like he belongs to both cultures. Vlad loves the works of H.P. Lovecraft, late night conversations about geeky topics, and snuggling with his partner Lorraine over a bottle of good wine.



Peggy is a retired molecular biologist and administrator who is now devoted to making goat cheese. As well she is definitely into making and sharing all kinds of good food and growing some of it, along with lots of flowers. She is committed to taking an active part in larger community affairs, reads an eclectic assortment of books, loves music of all sorts, especially Bach, and loves to hike, canoe, and travel. She and Jim are married and have lived in Charlestown for a very long time.



Jim is an archaeologist and historian with a particular interest in the Native peoples of the Northeast. He has worked in historic preservation, been a museum director, coached lots of students, and is now self-employed, which means writing articles and books. He has a deep commitment to social justice, music in almost any form, and good science fiction. With Peggy, his best friend, wife and editor, he loves to garden, tend bees, canoe or what ever else she cooks up.



Trudy is a recently retired nurse/casemanager. She is also a yoga teacher and has become an avid gardener and volunteers with the Master Gardeners. If not in the garden or on a yoga mat, you will find her cooking, hiking or cross country skiing. She travels regularly to visit her 2 sons and 4 grandchildren in California.


Kathy and Tom

Tom is a retired business computer programmer analyst. He now spends a lot of his time experimenting in early music (1400-1750), where he plays recorders, viola da gambas, and other strange instruments along with his wife Kathy. Retired from paid employment, Kathy pursues art, music and the spiritual development of herself and the children in her UU church. She also enjoys reading (serious fiction, mysteries, and fantasy), playing computer games, and quilting. Walking, swimming, and yoga are her active activities. Her paid employment was mainly computer programming. She graduated from the University of Minnesota (Latin), UMass Amherst (MAT in Latin), and Salem State College (MSW in Social Work).



Known amongst his friends as ‘a nobleman born to the people’ and ‘Reverend Ricardo’, he lives up to his reputation of being a little bit charming and whole a lot respectful and patient. Ricardo loves board games, card games and naps. He grows award-winning dahlias, loves movies and is an amateur filmmaker, himself. Ricardo has had grey hair since high school, was salt and pepper for years, and now he’s all salt but still he’s full of pepper. You can know Ricardo for years and still regularly discover new things about him. Maybe you can join him at tap-dancing class?


Kate and Ricardo have been together for twenty years–so much for the summer fling they were supposed to be. She is of Jewish and Italian heritage, so if she wants to leave the kitchen, she has to apply for a permit. Saying she loves to cook is like saying tomatoes love the sunshine. As elegant as Ricardo is, Kate is equally a peasant: tough, sturdy, resilient, practical, organized and 100% New England. Come within her periphery reach, Kate will seat you at her table, feed you and tell funny stories all night. The facts? She never lets them get in the way of a good one.


Finn is 10 and a little bit quirky. He is something of a Renaissance man: loves playing the violin, knitting and risotto. He considers himself ‘serious’ and has no truck with foolishness. Finn looks just like Ricardo, but he’s in disguise–he’s all New England stick-in-the-mud on the inside: solid, strong, hearty, hungry and down to Earth. He’s great company, a good conversationalist and whatever he tells you is straight up with no bull.



When Nico was born 8 years ago, he looked at his brother and decided he would be the opposite. Though Nico looks just like his Maternal Great-Grandfather, he, too, is in disguise. Nico side-stepped all the New England genes during the great recombination and ended up Tropical just like Dad. Nico’s not interested in eating, somehow he grows on a diet of dust and pollen. With his fancy, elegant bone structure, there’s no way this boy is going to clear the field of boulders nor drag the plough across it. He’s going to adjust his cufflinks and lift the heavy thoughts. Where’s the pretty lady? Where’s the party? Who needs to be charmed with a twinkly smile? Bring it all on; Nico has got the situation covered.


Photo of John, Meredith, Randall, and Margaret
John, Meredith, Randall, and Margaret

As BSC’s only three-generation household, John, Randall, their daughter Meredith, and Randall’s mother Margaret have been living in “cohousing” (a two-family house) together for thirty years. So we know what we’re getting into! Margaret is a dedicated quilter who also loves to read. John plays trumpet in a brass quartet and works as a corporate controller by day. He loves to bike and ski. Randall, a college professor in the field of criminal justice, plays recorder in an ensemble and sings in choirs and pick-up choruses wherever she can. Meredith is a sociologist by training, and enjoys reading Discworld novels and hiking in the nearby Fells reservation.



Marcia is a psychiatrist practicing in an outpatient clinic. Before going to medical school, she was a technical writer and manager at Lotus Development Corporation, and also taught fifth grade at an independent school in Baltimore. She is active in the Boston Workmen’s Circle, and sings in the Yiddish chorus, A Besere Velt. She also enjoys reading, playing the violin and viola, and listening to classical and folk music. She is committed to working for social justice, looking for the best way to apply her skills and experience.



Christine is a motorcyclist and architect with a severe over-volunteering problem. In the trade-off between desirability of location versus square footage, she’s lived in the tiniest condo in the best location – Boston’s North End – since 1998. Except, that is, for various work relocations to Santa Monica, Abu Dhabi, Dallas, and Portland Oregon. Interests include coffee snobbery, finding new recipes to use up a CSA farmshare, extreme energy efficiency in building construction, perfecting her freestyle swim stroke, and watching way too much TV. She is the Almighty Queen of the Excel Spreadsheet.

Spread the word—

Our Vision Statement

Bay State Commons Vision Statement

As written during visioning workshop facilitated by Kraus-Fitch Architects November 17, 2013

A group photo taken at Cornerstone Cohousing
A group photo taken at Cornerstone Cohousing after the visioning workshop in 2013.

We intend to create a cohousing community that fosters group cohesiveness and serendipitous social interaction between neighbors.

We envision a community in the Boston’s Metro North area with a small-town character and an emphasis on beauty in both architecture and landscape.

We value a balance between the private and the shared, with individually-owned homes supplemented by extensive common facilities and shared green space.

We seek a diverse, multi-generational community with residents who are eager to participate in both design and governance.

We promote an environment that encourages social serendipity:

  • We will design our community to facilitate unplanned socializing.
  • We aim to build a community which enables a natural and easy transition from private space to shared community space.We strike a balance between private lives and community needs:
  • We prioritize the needs of the individual in private spaces, and the needs of thecommunity in public spaces.
  • We respect the privacy of the home.
  • Our community will make space for both privately owned homes and shared common facilities.

We promote a cohesive community:

  • We think of our community as a family of choice.
  • We plan to have community meals on a regular basis.
  • Our members enrich each other through exchange of knowledge, shared projects, and hobbies.
  • Our community shares in music and celebration.
  • Our community is defined by our care and respect for one another and for our common spaces.

We foster participation in our community:

  • We follow an efficient consensus-based decision making model.
  • We promote good communication and conflict resolution.
  • We encourage our members to participate in the design process.
  • We plan to welcome participation of renters in community governance.

We promote diversity in our community:

  • Our community will be inclusive to people of different social, economic, generational, and racial backgrounds, as well as all sexual orientations and gender identities.
  • We will provide a range of unit sizes and prices.
  • We will strive for cost efficiency for individual units.
  • We will provide accessibility to differently abled people.
  • We promote sustainability in our community:
  • We support an ecologically sustainable lifestyle.
  • We strive for energy efficiency in our community buildings.
  • We will reduce redundancy by sharing selected resources and costly equipment. (We are not an income-sharing community.)
  • We strive to reduce fuel use through car sharing and a bike-friendly atmosphere.

We picture a small-town character:

  • We strive for a warm and welcoming atmosphere for both residents and guests.
  • Our community will be a safe and nurturing environment in which to raise children.
  • Our ideal community size is 20-30 units.
  • Some or all units will have immediate access to outdoors (private entrances).
  • We will use landscaping and architecture to create a peaceful captive green space full of natural beauty.We intend to place our community in a convenient location:

Our community will have access to quality public schools.

  • The commuting time to Park Street station will be under 1 hour.
  • Our community will be within one mile of regular public transit.
  • Our community will have easy access, by foot or bicycle, to basic services and downtown areas.
  • Our community will be within biking distance to conservation land (if possible).
Spread the word—