Exhibition Lecture | David Heymann, AR '84: A Building You Should Know - the John S. Chase Residence

Thursday, March 25, 2021, 6:30 - 8:30pm

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Axonometric Drawings, Chase House. Image courtesy of David Heymann. Interior Perspective 1, Chase House. Image courtesy of David Heymann. Section, Chase House. Image courtesy of David Heymann.

This lecture will be conducted through Zoom. Please register in advance here. Zoom account registration is required.

In 1959, John S. Chase, the first African American to be licensed as an architect by the State of Texas – but that only after petitioning the state for special permission to sit for the exam – completed a remarkable modern house for his own family in Houston. Though largely ignored within architecture, the house as a gathering place was a landmark in local, state, and national culture and politics. You should know it.

The presentation will be followed by a conversation and Q & A moderated by Nader Tehrani.

David Heymann, FAIA, is an architect, author, and the Harwell Hamilton Harris Regents Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Texas. His focus is the complex relationship of constructions and landscapes. Heymann is the author of My Beautiful City Austin and, with Stephen Fox, John S. Chase - the Chase Residence. He is a contributing writer for Places Journal; his essay Landscape Is Our Sex received the 2012 Bradford Williams Medal. Heymann’s architectural work has been recognized with various design honors, including selection for Emerging Voices by the Architecture League of New York. He is an AIA/ACSA Distinguished Teaching Professor, and has received numerous teaching awards, including recognition by DesignIntelligence in 2017 and 2018. Heymann holds degrees from the Cooper Union and Harvard’s GSD.

This event is free and open to the public. 

The online exhibition A Building You Should Know: The John S. Chase Residence is available here

View the full Spring 2021 Lectures and Events List. 


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.