The Preservation Resource Center mourns the passing of Edgar “Dooky” L. Chase III, who died peacefully on Wednesday (Feb. 21). A lifelong educator and passionate preservationist, Chase served as PRC Board President from 2000-2001 and served on our Board of Directors for many years.

His devotion to preserving historic African American landmarks in this city led to the founding of PRC’s African American Heritage Preservation Council (today’s PRC Multicultural Heritage Committee) and Jazz Houses Historic Plaques program. He also served on the committee for PRC’s Ladies in Red Gala for many years, which raised money for the recognition and preservation of sites of significance to the city’s jazz history and for youth education.

Writing in Preservation in Print in 2014 about his passion for preservation, Chase wrote: “We recognize that New Orleans is not simply a Big Easy tourist town — it is our home and our town. Regardless of conflicts, the PRC has been a bedrock guide reminding us of why we should cherish our unique civilization, and of what we might lose of ourselves if we so easily surrender our core identity.

“It has been said that we are a warm and welcoming community that interweaves the colorful rich threads of diverse cultural heritages into binding human relationships,” Chase continued. “The buildings in which we work, live, shop and worship simply remind us of our interconnectedness.”

He will be greatly missed. We offer our deepest condolences to the Chase family.

Photos from our Preservation in Print archive