The architect of the Florida condo building that collapsed last month — killing at least 97 people — was suspended for “gross incompetency” years earlier over other structural failures, according to a report.
William Friedman, who designed Champlain Towers South before it was built in 1981, was suspended for six months in 1967 after pylons on a sign atop another building collapsed after a major hurricane, the Real Deal reported.
The Florida Board of Architecture found that Friedman’s pylons were “insufficient and grossly inadequate,” and failed to meet “accepted standards,” according to the real-estate publication.
The five-member board in 1966 found Friedman, who died in 2008 at 88, guilty of “gross incompetency, in that he negligently, improperly and carelessly” designed the pylons.
Friedman appealed the decision but ultimately lost.
The architect began serving his suspension on June 1, 1967, the Real Deal said, according to documents obtained by the outlet.
The pylons held up commercial signs on top of the building and gave way shortly after Hurricane Betsy blew through the region, the report said.
Officials have not determined the exact cause of the collapse of the 12-story Champlain tower in Surfside on June 24, nor whether Friedman’s architectural design played any role.
But the revelation is the latest doubt to surface about the structural integrity of the building — including a 2018 engineer’s report that found “major structural damage.“