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Architect as Helper

May 15, 1988

Mr. McCafferty's series (April 10, 17 and 24 and May 1) reminds me of an occasion just after World War II while I was in Rome. A fellow officer and I sought out a restaurant serving a green salad. Neither of us spoke Italian. Needless to say, communication was difficult. We thought we were understood, but lo and behold, we were served spinach soup.

Trying to obtain what you want is simplified if you speak the same language. We would have been better off if we had hired a professional interpreter. So would Mr. McCafferty. In McCafferty's case the interpreter is called an "architect."

Contractors build from plans. All the things that went wrong are the result of incomplete architectural plans and the lack of architect's construction administration and observation.

McCafferty's "extras" amounted to 13%. Add to that the about 2% he paid for his cut-rate building design and you have 15%. He could have obtained pretty good architectural service for 15%. He might not have had anything to write about, but he would have had a better building.

RAYMOND ZIEGLER

Altadena

Editor's Note: Ziegler is an architect.

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