Edward L. Bunts was born July 26, 1901 in Philadelphia. He moved to Colorado Springs as a young child with tuberculosis. He graduated from one of the first public high schools, Colorado Springs High School. As a young man, Bunts began apprenticing himself to architects Thomas MacLaren (1921-28) and Elmer Nieman (1929-32). Bunts pursued architectural courses by mail and passed the Colorado licensing exam. As Bunts reputation as an architect began to evolve he was invited to join several prestigious groups. He became a member of the American Institute of Architects and served on the Board of Directors for the Colorado chapter of the AIA. The AIA bestowed recognition upon him for his school design achievements at the AIA/Colorado Chapter Convention in 1953
Bunts became known as an individual committed to public service. Among his many duties he generously fulfilled was one of local and District Governor of Rotary International. Bunts serious and conscientious nature resulted in his reputation being that of a highly trusted and respected member of the Colorado Springs community. His architectural firm spawned several successful practices. Among his former associates who formed their own firms were F. Lamar Kelsey and Jim Wallace. Lamar Kelsey was later to become a partner and the firm was named Bunts and Kelsey Architects. This partnership continued until 1966 when Mr. Bunts and Mr. Kelsey established their independent practices.
For Edward Bunts architecture should demonstrate three main objectives. First, the building should be well designed. There should be a graceful relationship between form and function. Second, the materials used in construction of the building should be the highest quality available. Finally, Bunts believed that the building should be designed to be of use to several generations of occupants. Among Bunts Colorado Springs buildings are the First Methodist Church, First Christian Church, Palmer High School (originally MacLaren’s Colorado Springs High School), the Masonic Temple (replacing MacLaren’s building which burned down), the El Paso County Court House, and of course, Cragmor Manor (now Cragmor Hall adjoining MacLaren’s Main Hall at CU Colorado Springs).
Edward Bunts had a longtime friendship with George Dwire. George Dwire became Director of the Cragmor Sanitorium in 1952. Dwire commissioned the firm of Bunts and Kelsey to design a residential facility that would attach to MacLaren’s Main Hall. Bunts was the principal partner in charge of the design of Cragmor Manor. The former MacLaren apprentice had a formidable task. He would produce a building that would not detract from MacLaren’s building but would accommodate the medical needs of the sanitorium. Bunts love of traditional forms of architecture combined with exposure to contemporary architecture from his partner, F. Lamar Kelsey, enabled the building to succeed beyond anyone’s expectations.