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Architect Says Quoted Comments Inaccurate

June 26, 1988

While the article (June 5) on our firm and myself as design partner seemed intent on characterizing the many recent changes in our offices here, the extensive comments attributable to me are highly inaccurate.

One must doubt the veracity of lengthy quotes in an article 5 1/2 weeks after an interview made without a recorder and very few notes. Both of us attending the interview from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill were quite astonished at the inaccuracies of attributed comments having to do with relationships with our many Japanese clients as well as our perceptions of Los Angeles.

The firm and its partners have made a great effort to add substantially to our offices here to correspond with the importance of the city and to respond to the increasing needs of our many clients. To be quoted as saying that our Japanese clients are only interested in the bottom line and uncaring about Los Angeles is totally untrue.

Our experience with clients from Japan is quite the opposite, and the goal of quality is indeed the most important bond between us and all of our clients. SOM is simply not often hired by those interested in the bottom line. What was said and not quoted is that Los Angeles represents a special opportunity to derive a unique attitude about architecture from the strong influence of Japan and its culture through the many Japanese investors working within a burgeoning American city.

As one who is careful about slang and precise in the use of language, I am gratified that so many friends who called were aware that the phrases "showing our paces" and "wanting a piece of the action" were obviously not my words.


Los Angeles

Keating is partner-in-charge of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Editor's Note: Writer Leon Whiteson has extensive notes (nine notebook pages) from his April 27 interview with Keating. Quotes concerning Japanese clients were taken directly from those notes. Keating's frank remarks were all on the record.

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