John S. Chase, an architect who broke barriers in Texas and elsewhere, died on March 29 in Houston after a long illness at age 87. He served as CEO of John S. Chase Architect Inc., a firm he founded in 1952 after graduating from the University of Texas-Austin as its first black architecture student.
Chase also was the first black architect to be licensed in Texas and the first to be admitted to the Texas Society of Architects and the American Institute of Architects' Houston chapter. Chase collaborated on a number of local and national landmarks, and he was commissioned to design the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia.
Elected an AIA Fellow, he also co-founded the National Organization of Minority Architects.