Architecture + Community: Ed Boles

2019 NMAF Award Winner
For devoted individuals who have made a significant effort to stimulate public understanding and appreciation of architecture and in their community.

Ed Boles has worked as an educator, architect and historian in many private and public settings. He has served as an essential resource for anyone who needs help with the history, design and development of the State of New Mexico and in particular the City of Albuquerque. And he always seems glad to help. Ed is a treasured storehouse of expansive knowledge.

Ed Boles has lived in New Mexico since arriving from Lawrence, Kansas in 1981.  He studied architecture at the University of Kansas and after graduation taught first-and-second-year design studios at KU.  Other post-degree work in Lawrence included freelance design-build projects and part-timing in a firm.  As a historic preservation activist, he co-founded an organization that dissuaded the city government from approving a suburban shopping mall in favor of preservation-based downtown revitalization.

After teaching design at UNM his first year in Albuquerque, Ed worked in three firms to complete his apprenticeship, attaining architectural registration in 1984.  New Mexico’s lieutenant governor hired him in 1985 to help launch the nascent MainStreet program, first as its architect and later, co-director. Five years on, he joined the state historic preservation office and took on duties ranging from assisting local and tribal governments to managing loan-and-grant-funded projects to producing a newsletter.

In 1995 the City of Albuquerque hired Ed as its historic preservation planner.  There he initiated local, state, and national historic designations, hiring and managing the consultants for each project. He coordinated the work of contract archaeologists on development projects approved by the City.  He wrote, photographed, and produced publications about Albuquerque’s historic character.  He planned and led walking tours of several neighborhoods.  On some City-initiated projects such as the Old Albuquerque High School redevelopment he served the Landmarks Commission as design reviewer.  He worked on the City’s designation, legal defense, and acquisition of city landmarks such as the De Anza Motor Lodge and El Vado Motel.  He wrote the successful nomination of the Kells + Craig/Pearson and Company rehabilitation of the KiMo Theater for a national preservation award in 2001.  He coordinated neighborhood planning projects and helped manage the former Santa Fe Railway locomotive shops as a film location and redevelopment site.  He oversaw neon sign restoration and reconstruction projects.

In 2011 Ed was appointed to and elected chairman of the New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee, a short-lived activity. Now retired from his government career, Ed is a volunteer with the Albuquerque Historical Society, New Mexico Architectural Foundation, and has moderated panels at the World Monuments Fund/National Park Service’s Route 66 Strategic Roundtable and the State of New Mexico’s Building Creative Communities Conference. He lives in Corrales with his spouse, Michele Minnis, a retired faculty member of UNM’s graduate program in water resources.

Other Awards:

2013 :: Creative Bravos Award from Creative Albuquerque Inc

2014 :: Lifetime Achievement Awards from AIA Albuquerque

2019: Advocate of Historic Preservation






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