The Los Angeles Forum is saddened to hear the news that author and Urban Designer John Chase passed away on August 13th, 2010. John was a fixture in the Los Angeles design community for decades, and our organization is indebted to his vast contributions, both as a board member and for his continuous effusive support. We offer our condolences to his friends and family. You brightened our days, John, enlightened our conversations, and always put a smile on our faces.

The Urban Designer for the City of West Hollywood for the past 14 years, Chase was a Board Member of the LA Forum from 1990-95.  He was the co-editor of one of the LA Forum’s most significant publications, Everyday Urbanism, and wrote essays for Experimental Architecture in Los Angeles and other Forum publications as well as articles for the Forum Newsletter for many years. This year, he contributed to the Forum’s Dingbat 2.0 Competition as a member of the jury, by participating in the panel discussions, and offering his substantial knowledge and energetic support throughout the entire project. A noted author on the subject of Southern California vernacular architecture, he repeatedly expressed his delight and gratitude at seeing the renewed attention paid to a subject he loved so much.  He wrote (with John Beach) one of the definitive articles on dingbat apartment buildings in ‘The Stucco Box’, the first essay of his book Glitter Stucco and Dumpster Diving. John will be missed by so many people in this city and beyond.


A few of the online comments and tributes from John’s friends and members of the design community can be found at these links:

gelotobaby blog

Francis Anderton

silverlakeblvd Blog

And here is an article by Reyner Banham, reviewing John’s Book Exterior Decoration, Hollywood’s Inside Out Houses.


News from family and friends:

John Chase, author and Urban Designer for the City of West Hollywood unexpectedly passed away on Friday, August 13.  He was an inspirational figure in urban design, for the City of West Hollywood, and Los Angeles.  The AIA/LA Urban Design Committee was at its best when John served as co-chair between 2004 and 2009.  He will be sorely missed.

Please join us to celebrate his life  on Tuesday, August 24 in West Hollywood’s Plummer Park from 4-7 pm. Dress for John, in the brightest colors ever!