Historic Preservation

Kiki Bolender




Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture Preservation and Planning, Master of Architecture
University of Toronto School of Architecture
Occidental College, BA, Psychology


Kiki is principal of Bolender Architects, where current projects include renovations and additions to a public health center, an animal welfare organization and a community center. Her previous firm, Schade and Bolender Architects LLP, was for many years the only all-female partnership in AIA Philadelphia. For three years she chaired the Design Advocacy Group (DAG), hosting monthly public meetings and representing the group at the Land Bank Alliance, Next Great City and the Building Industry Association. With May 8 Consulting, she initiated the Healthy Rowhouse Project to preserve historic affordable houses, to assist people to stay in their homes in developing neighborhoods and to address the social determinants of health found in deteriorating homes. She was an invited collaborator in Philadelphia Assembled, a Philadelphia Museum of Art project on racism and resilience in neighborhoods and, in 2017, at the Perelman Building. From 2006 to 2011 Kiki served as co-chair of the local AIA Urban Design Committee. In that capacity she secured a foundation grant to explore the knotty topic of citizen engagement in the planning, preservation and development process. In the fall 2018 term, Kiki will co-instruct Historic Preservation Studio course HSPV 701, along with Randy Mason and Pamela Hawkes.

She has contributed opinion pieces to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Plan Philly, Context and the National Trust for Historic Preservation Leadership Forum, has testified at City Council on urban design and affordable housing issues and was on the People's Editorial Board of the Daily News. Currently she is on the Board of Friends of Historic Sedgeley and the Advisory Board of Design of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. She taught at the Citizens' Planning Institute of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission for six years. Kiki grew up in a very small town in Arizona, and attended Occidental College, University of Toronto and Columbia University. Kiki is LEED accredited and is a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects.

Professional Credentials

Principal        Bolender Architects
Established    2012 - present

Principal        Schade and Bolender Architects LLP
Established    1996 - 2012

Registered      Pennsylvania since 1989
Architect        Maryland since 2007

Selected Professional Activities

AIA Philadelphia Board Member 2014 - 2015
Co-chair, Urban Design Committee 2006-2011
Plan Philly Advisory Board, Member 2015 - present
World Heritage City Community Development Group, Member 2015 - present
Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Advisory Board of Design  2004 - present
Design Advocacy Group (DAG) of Philadelphia  Chair, 2012 - 2015
Citizens Planning Institute - Instructor Zoning 101  2010 - 2016
Op-Ed Contributor on zoning, planning and design issues, Philadelphia Inquirer  2010 - 2017
People’s Editorial Board, Daily News, Philadelphia, Member, 2011 - 2013
Co-creator of Common Ground, a project on public involvement in zoning, preservation and development for the Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission  2010
Co-Presenter of AIA sustainability and green building initiatives to the Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission  2008
Central Delaware Waterfront Planning Process Community Forums, Moderator, 2006 - 2007
Central Delaware Waterfront Planning Process, Invited Architect, 2007
Juror, Kendeda Fund Sustainable Home Competition, Atlanta  2006

Selected Publications

Preserving Philadelphia's Historic Rowhouses.” Preservation Leadership Forum Saving Places Blog, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 9 June 2017
 Building Stories: The Rowhouse. PlanPhilly "Audio Postcard" 15 Apr. 2016
"Toward a Safe and Thriving City". PlanPhilly, 15 May 2015
"Housing Policy in Philadelphia: We Can Do Better ." PlanPhilly, 18 Mar. 2015

 Recent Work