Last Friday, the local design community was shocked to hear of the passing of John Chase. As West Hollywood's urban designer for 14 years, Chase made a profound impact on the city and its residents. Ann McIntosh, director of community development for the City of West Hollywood points out some places in the city where you can find his mark (we've compiled a list with addresses and a map). One of them is Formosa 1140, an apartment building designed by Lorcan O'Herlihy, which carved out part of its property into a public pocket park. Richard Loring, the developer responsible for the project, speaks about Chase's influence in making the park a reality. In addition to his work in West Hollywood, Chase was also an accomplished critic and writer on the urban experience. Margaret Crawford, co-authored Everyday Urbanism with Chase and John Kaliski, and architectural historian Alan Hess explain his legacy. The Chase family will hold a public memorial on Tuesday, August 24 from 4pm to 7pm at Fiesta Hall in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood.
Chase's impact was widespread and the internet is awash in tributes. Curbed LA posted a note which has garnered many lovely comments and remembrances, as well as a eulogy by former Curbed editors Marissa Gluck and Josh Williams. Friend and ollaborator John Kaliski writes about Chase as "A Substantive Design Man." Writers who Chase mentored remembered his enthusiastic guidance: Mimi Zeiger focused on all that glitters; Alissa Walker crowned him king of public space. The LA Forum posted a tribute which includes a link to Reyner Banham's review of Chase's Exterior Decoration: Hollywood’s Inside Out Houses. Tibby Rothman says LA will not be the same. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports on John's impact on the city where he lived and attended school. Christopher Hawthorne writes the obituary for the Los Angeles Times. There are additional stories at LA Observed and the LA Weekly. Chase's Facebook page has also become a memorial filled with tributes. We invite you to add your memories and stories of John Chase in the comments below.
Sierra Bonita Apartments for people with low-incomes and special needs, designed by Patrick Tighe
1200 N. Sweetzer Condos designed by Aleks Istanbullu for Urban Moment, Inc.