The influence of Boney Architects on the built environment throughout North Carolina can be traced back to 1903 when Leslie N. Boney started working part-time in an architect’s office in Greensboro, NC. In 1913 he opened his own architectural office in Goldsboro, NC and in 1920 became a partner with James F. Gause, Architect of Wilmington. Their statewide practice focused primarily on public school design. In 1922, Leslie N. Boney assumed responsibility for the firm’s work. He was licensed in July of 1922 and practiced continuously under the name Leslie N. Boney, Architect until his death in 1964. He established himself as a pioneer in educational facility design and at the time of his death, he had designed 1,000 school projects in 54 of the State’s 100 counties. He was eulogized by the AIA Chapter President, S. Scott Ferebee, Jr., FAIA as the “Dean of North Carolina Architects”.
Following World War II, Leslie N. Boney’s three sons, Leslie N. Boney, Jr., William J. (Bill) Boney and Charles H. (Charlie) Boney, joined the firm as partners after each graduated from North Carolina State University. Leslie Boney, Jr. was a prolific writer, respected civic leader and handled business development and marketing for the firm. Bill was involved with the business aspects of the firm and construction administration. Charlie was in charge of design and project management. A two-time Paris Prize finalist, his design influence can be seen throughout North Carolina. They each had clear operational responsibilities and the firm continued to expand its horizons under their leadership.
This was a unique partnership, being the only architectural firm in the United States at that time that was composed of a father and three sons. Leslie N. Boney’s daughter, Sue Boney Ives, also joined the firm and served as Corporate Secretary. Operating from the 1854 Hathaway-Boney House, located in Wilmington’s Historic District, the firm continued to focus on educational projects while also diversifying its portfolio to include healthcare, commercial, civic and retail projects. The firm won numerous design awards and completed projects on ten of the 16 UNC campuses. Boney schools can be found in over 74 of NC’s 100 counties with over 1,500 educational projects completed.
In 1984 the firm became Boney Architects, Inc. and expanded to include offices in Raleigh (1989) and Charlotte (1993). In 1997, Paul Davis Boney assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer for the firm, representing the third generation of the Boney family to lead the practice. The third generation leadership team also included Charles Boney, Jr. and Chris Boney. Building on a strong family practice, the firm realized the importance and value of involving non-family members as part of the company’s leadership team appointing Jack Claywell as Chairman and Katherine Peele as Chief Operating Officer. The firm was chosen as the AIA North Carolina Firm of the Year in 2002.
The merger of Boney Architects and LS3P in 2005 celebrates the future while blending the core values of these two historic firms.