John Chase’s West Hollywood

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On DnA we talked about how John Chase made his mark on every corner of West Hollywood, helping remake Santa Monica Boulevard into a pedestrian-friendly strip, shepherding high-quality development, creating pocket parks and well-designed signage. If you want evidence of his impact, look no further than this instant memorial, on a Jumbotron just west of The House of Blues. It was created by Joe Shooshani, the owner of 8410 Sunset Boulevard, a property owner John really enjoyed working with. How John would have loved it! And yes, he was a “jewel of the human being.”

Now we are in the process of putting together a John Chase West Hollywood Walking Tour. Below, John Keho, John’s Chase immediate boss at the City of West Hollywood, describes places John loved in WeHo; you can find them on this Google Map of all the locations, created by Alissa Walker.

John loved, loved, loved, the east side…..

He was very influential in the West Hollywood Gateway project designed by The Jerde Partnership [7100 Santa Monica, corner of La Brea and Santa Monica]

Formosa 1140 designed by Lorcan O’Herlihy and the community park adjacent to it designed by Katie Spitz. [1140 Formosa]

Sierra Bonita Affordable Housing designed by Patrick Tighe [7530 Santa Monica]

Temple Kol Ami designed by Josh Schweitzer [1200 La Brea]

He worked on small projects like Salt’s Cure, designed by Andy Liu and was anxiously awaiting the opening [7494 Santa Monica]

He loved Food + Lab and that small places could be so interesting [7253 Santa Monica]

The Crown Bar has its historic fabric thanks to John [7321 Santa Monica]

Harper Community, a West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation built in 1992 was one of the first permanent housing projects built for people living with AIDS and HIV (and currently needs a paint job). He remarked about how that building was true to its postmodern period, and one of the few laudable examples of that style. I don’t think that building was a favorite of his by any means, but it’s an example of how he loved this neighborhood. [corner of Harper and Norton]

He loved creative signage and encouraged people to make fun signs such as the spinning chicken head at Koo Koo Roo [8520 Santa Monica]

John helped keep The Schindler House as a jewel of West Hollywood architecture [835 N. Kings Road]

The Pacific Design Center plaza at the center of the complex of buildings designed by Cesar Pelli and how it was re-worked to be open to the street [corner of Melrose and San Vicente, plaza on San Vicente]

He loved working with the property owner, Joe Shooshani, of 8410 Sunset. He was always coming up with great new plans for signage and lighting. The building’s facade is currently a light sign in John’s honor. A great place to take it in is from the bar of the Andaz hotel, directly across the street. [8410 Sunset]

He was on the committee for the Holloway Park Veterans’ Memorial designed by Campbell Architects [corner of Santa Monica and Holloway]

View a Google Map of John Chase’s West Hollywood