Minnette B. Boesel of Houston has been named the Texas Society of Architects’ Cornerstone Award recipient for 2019. This award recognizes outstanding contributions by leaders in the community that enhance the quality of life by elevating architecture and the arts, promoting the value of community, or preserving the natural environment.
With a background in the arts, historic preservation, and real estate, Boesel has been a leader in the enhancement of the built environment of Houston for decades. In the 1980s, when the city lacked any preservation ordinances, Boesel led efforts to clean up downtown and invested in developing the W.L. Foley building to show what could be accomplished with historic properties. She served as executive director of the Downtown Houston Association, founding director of the Market Square Historic District Project, and established a real estate company, Minnette Boesel Properties, to work with developers to save and reuse historic properties.
Boesel’s contributions have been an integral part of the city becoming more interested in preserving its historic past — the city now has more than 400 designated and protected landmarks and numerous historic districts — as well as in its transformation into a major urban destination focused on culture and quality of life. Boesel has served as director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and a member of the Rice Design Alliance and Houston Arts Alliance boards, among others. Currently, she is chair of Houston’s Archeological and Historical Commission, an advisory board member for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and founding director of the Astrodome Conservancy.
The Cornerstone Award was presented to Boesel on October 26 at the TxA Annual Conference in Galveston.