A native of Miami, Bob Vila attended Miami Dade Junior College and received
an Associate of Architecture degree. He entered the University of Florida
in 1965 as an architecture major, and graduated in 1969 with a degree in
Communications Science. Initially, he focused his professional eye on
newspaper reporting. In 1973, after a two-year stint with the Peace Corps,
serving in Panama (1969 and 1970), and two years working and studying in
Europe, Vila returned to the United States and settled in Boston, where he
studied at the Boston Architectural Center before forming his own
residential remodeling and design business.
Bob's restoration of a Victorian Italianate house in Newton Center,
Massachusetts, was honored as 'Heritage House of 1978' by Better Homes and
Gardens and subsequently became the subject of a Boston Globe article. It
was the newspaper profile that caught the attention of a WGBH television
producer, who soon after produced a pilot program on home renovations using
Vila and his Newton Center home as the focal point.
Some months later, Vila was asked to be the host of a 13-part television
series on step-by-step home renovation. Vila agreed, and, in 1979, 'This
Old House' premiered and was an immediate hit in the local Boston market.
The series was subsequently picked up by PBS and was broadcast nationwide on
public television with Vila as its host for ten years.
Home Again is now taping its fifteenth season as Bob and This Old House celebrate 25 years on television.