Member Spotlight

G. Niles Bolton, AIA

December 5, 2023

G. Niles Bolton founded Niles Bolton Associates, Inc. (NBA), a Buckhead-based professional architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and planning services firm in 1975.

After graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1969 with a degree in architecture, Niles was assigned to the United States Engineering Centers at Fort Belvoir, Virginia as an instructor. He then served as an officer in Vietnam building bridges, roads, and buildings with the Army Corps of Engineers (1st Lieutenant, 69th Engineering Battalion). Niles credits that year with helping him hone his practical skills and aid his architectural apprenticeship.

Olympic Village (North Ave. Apartments); Generation Atlanta; Inspire (Chad Baumer Photography)

After an honorable discharge, Niles went to work for Heery & Heery in Atlanta and later joined Gary B. Coursey Architects where he spent a couple of years. In 1975, Niles started his practice in his home with a lifelong goal to have 3 or 4 partners in a firm of 17 people. NBA experienced rapid growth in the following decade and Niles made five architects shareholders in 1986 and opened NBA’s D.C. office in 1987.

Today, he has 23 partners who have completed projects in 49 states and over a dozen countries. The firm’s major markets include multifamily residential, higher education, retail, corporate, general aviation, and hospitality. Notable projects include the North Avenue portion of the 1996 Olympic Village in Atlanta, the nation’s first LEED-certified apartment community in Silver Spring, Maryland, and most recently Flamingo Crossings Village in Orlando, Florida, a 10,440-bed campus for Walt Disney World’s new home for its College Intern Program.

Neiman Marcus Broadway Plaza – Walnut Creek, California (Misha Bruk, BrukStudios)

Niles has always pushed community involvement for the firm. His own engagements include Past Chairman of the Buckhead Coalition; an Emeritus Trustee of the Georgia Tech Foundation, on the Board of Trustees at the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, Past President of Cherokee Town and Country Club, and served many years on the Georgia Tech College of Design Executive Advisory Board and ten years on the Georgia State License Board for Architects and Interior Designers. Throughout his career, Niles has remained a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta, been involved with the Young Presidents Organization, a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, and active with various national professional associations.

In his free time, Niles enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife Kathy, two grown children, and two grandchildren.

Flamingo Crossings Village – Orlando, Florida (Preston Mack Photography)

What piece of advice would you attribute to running a successful business?

Of his success at NBA, Niles credits his solution-based, practical approach to managing client relationships and the incredibly loyal and talented employees and colleagues. He says, “it’s difficult to sell in the first place, keeping my existing clients happy is the best strategy to build future business. I’ll never run out of ideas about how to spend my clients’ money, but they will run out of money.” Learning to create opportunities, master the risks and strategically choose the right markets have led to 48 years of success.

Camden Buckhead – Atlanta, Georgia (Chad Baumer Photography)