COLORADO HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Birth/Death Dates: 1908-1983
Practice Dates: 1936-1973
Firms: Huntington, Jones and Hunter
James M. Hunter and Associates
James M. Hunter, prominent Boulder architect and Fellow, American Institute of Architects, was born in 1908 in Omaha, Nebraska. Hunter studied architectural engineering at Iowa State University and received his degree from the University of Illinois in 1936. That same year he came to Boulder to work as a draftsman for Glen H. Huntington. By 1940, Harold Stuart Jones had joined the same company and the firm Huntington, Jones and Hunter was born. This firm remained active until 1945. They designed a number of buildings in that short time, including the Citizens National Bank Building in Boulder as well as a number of houses in Floral Park, a Boulder subdivision.
After service in World War II, Hunter formed his own Boulder-based firm. As firm principal he worked on numerous academic complexes. Hunter served as planner and architect for Colorado A & M College (now Colorado State University), Fort Collins; Fort Lewis College, Durango; Regis College, Denver, and Tarkio College in Missouri. Hunter also was a member of the advisory board of local (Boulder) architects who helped establish an accredited degree program in Architecture at the University of Colorado at Boulder. This new major was approved in 1949. In honor of Hunter’s contributions both to education and to architecture, the AIA Colorado chapter established the James M. Hunter Scholarship. This Hunter scholarship is awarded for graduate study or travel within the continental United States specifically for the study of American architecture.
Hunter designed many civic, commercial, organizational, educational, and residential buildings in Boulder. Key commissions included the original Boulder Public Library, Baseline Junior High School, Boulder Medical Center, the Nelson House and the Boulder Municipal Building. In addition to his practice, Hunter was interested in architectural research, especially solar design. He was highly regarded for his early efforts to use active solar design in his architecture. He served as a consultant on the utilization of solar energy and was a member of the advisory board for the Association of Applied Solar Energy. In collaboration with George Löf, a noted authority on active solar design, Hunter designed residences for Löf in Boulder in 1949 and in Denver (Cherry Hills Village) in the early 1950s. The Nelson House in Boulder embodies many of the principles of solar design, albeit passive as opposed to active solar design. Further research is needed in order to better understand Hunter’s contributions to solar design and his role in the then-new technology.
Hunter retired from practice in 1973. He died at the age of 75 in 1983 at his home in Boulder. He is interred at Danforth Chapel on the campus at Colorado State University, a building of his own design.
Biography by Diane Wray
Credited Buildings (partial list)
|Building Name||Location||Site No.||Date*||Status|
|Huntington, Jones &
|James M. Hunter House||Boulder||5BL.3719||1940|
|George Lof House||Boulder||5BL.3725||1940s|
|Public Service Company Warehouse and Office||Boulder||5BL.4677||1941 or 1950|
|James M. Hunter &
|University Hill Elementary||Boulder||5BL.8220||1949|
|Seventh Day Adventist Church||Boulder||5BL.6206||1949|
|Academic Building, Fort Lewis College||Durango||1950s|
|Danforth Chapel, Fort Lewis College (also McPherson Chapel)||Durango||1950s|
|Allison Hall, Colorado State University||Fort Collins||1950s|
|Brighton City Hall||Brighton||1950s|
|Nelson House||Boulder||5BL.8232||1951||State Register|
|City of Boulder Municipal Building||Boulder||5BL.6039||1951|
|Mercantile Bank & Trust||Boulder||1953||Baseline Junior|
|Boulder Medical Center||Boulder||1954||Danforth Chapel|
|Colorado State university||Fort Collins||5LR.2096||1954|
|Colorado Insurance Building||Boulder||5BL.5913||1955|
|Commonwealth Industrial Bank (also Boulder Industrial Bank)||Boulder||1955|
|George Lof Residence||Cherry Hills Village||1955-1957|
|Engineering Building, Colorado State University||Fort Collins||5LR.9988||1957|
|Charles A. Lory Student Center, Colorado State University||Fort Collins||5LR.9987||1961|
|Boulder Public Library/ Boulder Library and Community Center||Boulder||5BL.6065||1961|
|First National Bank||Fort Collins||5LR.9997||1961|
|McClelland Public Library||Pueblo||5PE.4270||1965|
|Norton House||Boulder||By 1953|
|Citizens National Bank||Boulder|
|Boulder Chamber of Commerce||Boulder|
*Completion date is stated if known. Plan, building permit, or assessor date is shown if
completion date is unknown.
“Architecture of James M. Hunter and Associates,” undated brochure.
Boulder Daily Camera, “James M. Hunter,” obituary, September 13, 1983.
Cole, Estella. Nelson House State Register nomination, August 20, 2005.
Hunter, James M. Architects files, Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Colorado
Historical Society, Denver.
New York Times, “Denver Family Set for Winter in Solar-Heated Home,” November 10, 1957, p.
Site Files Database, Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Colorado Historical
Revised: August 23, 2006