Lew Place

Lew Place

Lew Place was born in San Diego in 1913 and came to Arizona early in 1917 with his mother to join his father, Roy .Place, in their newly rented Tucson home.

He attended Roskruge Elementary School, Junior High School and Tucson High School. He tried to play football in high school, but he was a skinny little tyke, a ninety-seven-pound weakling that the opposing practice team enjoyed flattening. Lew changed sports to a less-aggressive one, he went out for track.

After graduation from high school, he enrolled in art at the University of Arizona. He was a good artist and throughout his life produced some excellent western art. At the university, he was one of only two male students that art teacher Mrs. Katherine Kitt would allow to sketch female models posing in the nude.

Lew enrolled in only one architecture course, an engineering subject but he was less than overjoyed either with the material or his instructor. He did not graduate from the university. During the depression years he worked as a cowboy at the Canoa Ranch and as a driver, bookkeeper and estimator for the Webster Land, Cattle Broker.

Lew decided that if he was to be an architect he should learn from an expert, his father, Roy. He began working in Roy's office in 1930 while he was attending the university and worked there as a draftsman, construction inspector, specifications writer, and designer. In 1938-39 Lew worked as an inspector for the Federal Public Works Administration in Chandler, Mesa, and Williams, Arizona.

In his heart, Lew was always a cowboy, but under the tutelage of James MacMillan, chief draftsman for Roy Place, he joined his father's firm in 1940 as a partner. He had successfully completed his examinations for an architectural registration in Arizona and later was to receive a similar registration in Wyoming.

Lew holds membership in the Old Pueblo Club, the Mountain Oyster Club, St. Philip's in the Hills Parish, Sigma Chi Fraternity and is a former member of the Tucson Country Club.

As a young man, Lew was a harness-horse driver in Tucson and his love for racing and horses led to his being appointed to serve on the Arizona State Racing Commission. He was also a member of the State Board of Technical Registration for three terms and belonged to the Tucson Airport Authority, the Tucson Rotary Club, National Pilots' Association, Quiet Birdmen, the Elks Club, the Arizona Historical Society, and the Poets' Club, a social group of builders and architects.

He and his wife, the former Katherine Kendall, who is a native of San Diego, have one daughter, Pamela (Mrs. Eugene P. Weber Jr.). The Places have four grandchildren, James IV and Todd McDonald, and Eugene III and Ben Weber, all of whom live in Tucson.

Lew served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He received a commission as a Second Lieutenant with the Army Corps of Engineers.

Later, he was a partner in Associated State Capitol Architects. The firm designed the Legislative Wings at the State Capitol in Phoenix and the new Industrial Commission building. They also designed the Coliseum there.

His art has been mentioned. When he was younger, he won first honorable mention in the national art competition of Pencil Points, Architectural Magazine.

He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (National), member and past secretary, treasurer, vice president and president of the Southern Arizona Chapter of the A. I. A. He is a past member of the Tucson Board of Adjustment and the Board of Directors of the Tucson Airport Authority.

Among his hobbies and special activities, Lew was a Moltacqua Race Track Steward and Judge (in Tucson), a licensed pilot and has a hobby of collecting old photographs. He is also an amateur boatman. He has a library of autographed books on the Southwest.

Lew, like his father, is outgoing, is an accomplished politician, and is very popular in the Tucson Community. Also like his father, his accomplishments as an architect speak for themselves.

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