Frank Lucas (copy) (copy)

Frank Lucas was co-founder of LS3P Associates Ltd. Provided

Frank Edward Lucas’ work gives credence to the suggestion that architecture provides insight into the soul of a place.

When he began his career as an architect here in 1963, much of Charleston thought of itself as a noble relic of the past. Mr. Lucas, trained in modern architecture, saw it as a place with a vibrant future as well.

Mr. Lucas and his firm (Lucas and Stubbs, later LS3P) made that case with prominent buildings, including the original Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, Charleston International Airport, the Charleston Water System building,  the Trident Technical College campus and the Ashley River Tower at the Medical University of South Carolina.

As further testimony to his belief in and commitment to his native Lowcountry and South Carolina, he formerly served as president of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and on the Clemson University Board of Visitors and the board of Trident Technical College.

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He received the Joseph P. Riley Leadership Award and the South Carolina Order of the Palmetto. He also is in the hall of fame of the Clemson College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. And the firm he began as a one-man operation now has offices in eight cities in the Carolinas and Georgia and employs more than 300 people.

Frank Lucas died Sept. 1. He left a noteworthy physical footprint in Charleston and beyond — a footprint that helped the area begin to step out of the past.