University of Arizona

Judith Chafee Papers

Architect Judith Chafee, known for her ability to combine unique modern materials and design with the desert landscape, was born in Chicago on August 18, 1932. Following her father’s death and her mother’s remarriage, Chafee’s family settled in Tucson when she was a small child. Some years after attending Yale School of Art and Architecture as the only female member of the class, and working with a number of prominent modern architects, Chafee moved back to Tucson and started her own practice in 1969. Though she did work on a few public projects, Chafee mostly designed grand and environmentally attuned homes, including Viewpoint, the Ramada house, the Blackwell House, and the Rieveschl House, among others. Chafee, a heavy smoker, contracted emphysema by the 1990s and eventually needed the assistance of an oxygen tank to breathe. She passed away on November 5, 1998.

This collection includes a variety of materials pertaining to the life and work of architect Judith Chafee. The majority of the collection are project files and architectural plans corresponding to Chafee’s designs, but also includes photographs, artwork, poetry, publications, office documents, and teaching files from Chafee’s time as an architecture professor.