2021 Honorary Membership Recipient
The AIA recognizes the notable contributions and service of people outside of the architecture profession with Honorary Membership.
For nearly 50 years, Edward “Ted” Bosley, Hon. AIA, has vigorously promoted the importance of architecture through his preservation efforts, his teaching endeavors, and the tours he has led both at home and abroad. His keen interest in the Arts and Crafts movement and the work of Greene & Greene has helped inject architecture into the context of American culture while broadening access to the firm’s influential work. In everything he does, Bosley treats architecture with the careful consideration of a practitioner and has positioned himself as one of the profession’s critical assets and allies.
Bosley’s foundation for preservation was laid when he attended the University of California, Berkeley. As a freshman, he found housing in the W.R. Thorsen House, a 1909 Greene & Greene project that served as the university’s Sigma Phi chapter home. His experiences in the house prompted questions about how a community could embrace architecture without feeling fully welcomed to experience it. With his newfound enthusiasm for the built environment, he developed a series of architectural walking tours to support the university’s art museum. In 1978, he was instrumental in placing the Thorsen House on the National Register of Historic Places and, later, securing funding for its historic structures report.
After a brief stint at a New York ad agency, Bosley returned to California to focus on his passion for architecture. He became the associate director of The Gamble House in Pasadena, another Greene & Greene gem. After two years of apprenticeship, he was named director in 1992, a position he held until the recent separation of the house from the University of Southern California (USC). In his role, Bosley led an eight-year, comprehensive conservation effort for the home, correcting the effects of nearly a century’s worth of weather, heat degradation, and deferred maintenance. In 2006, Bosley presented the technical findings of the conservation project at the AIA national convention in Los Angeles, providing participants with detailed analyses and techniques used to preserve the structure.
When he was just in his 30s, Bosley penned three monographs for Phaidon’s Architecture in Detail series focusing on The Gamble House; Berkeley’s First Church of Christ, Scientist; and Frank Furness’ University of Pennsylvania Library. His magnum opus, Greene & Greene, published by Phaidon in 2000, remains the definitive documentation of the firm’s work.
Recognizing that a well-preserved landmark is meaningless unless it engages with its community and visitors through inspired interpretation, Bosley has instilled the importance of The Gamble House in more than 600 volunteer docents, countless elementary and high school students, and 25,000 annual visitors. Throughout the 1990s, Bosley opened The Gamble House’s doors to AIA Pasadena and Foothill Chapter for its regular board meetings. In 1997, the chapter made Bosley an honorary member. After the separation of The Gamble House and USC, Bosley formed The Gamble House Conservancy, a new organizational arrangement that allows him to continue to elevate the importance of the house.
An important steward of the profession’s heritage, Bosley is always willing to share his knowledge unselfishly. Though not an architect, his depth of knowledge and ability to engage with the greater public advances the profession in meaningful and measurable ways.