On Wednesday 20 March 1968, Major-General GN Russell, Chairman of the Hastoe Housing Society, together with the then Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Frank Chapman, officially opened Chichester House on the Hoe. Designed by BA Searle, the nineteen-storey building has excellent views over the Hoe and Plymouth Sound – the setting for Francis Chichester’s celebrated return from his historic solo circumnavigation of the world, a voyage he completed when he stepped ashore at the old Royal Western Yacht Club at West Hoe on 28 May the previous year. And among the first to meet and greet him that evening – the aforementioned Frank Chapman, who had then just recently begun his year in office as Lord Mayor.
At the time Chichester House was one of three buildings to be named in honour of the great yachtsman, it was however the only new building to be thus named. The other two were both pubs – the Crown and Anchor (which became the Sir Francis Chichester on the Barbican) and the Hoe Park Hotel (which became the Gypsy Moth IV) – and both have since been renamed again, leaving Chichester House as the only enduring nominal link.