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Architect's Creditor Still Awaits Payment

August 11, 1991

The principal players in the development of a construction project are the owner and his architect. Without question, Arthur Erickson's projects have received worldwide acclaim, and he should be recognized as an artist ("The Collapse of an Architectural Pillar Jolts L.A.," July 15).

However, architects do not create unilaterally. They must solicit the expert support of structural engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, landscape architects, geo-technical engineers, interior designers and acoustical consultants to name a few.

The prime consultant agreement is between the owner and the architect. The architect engages the engineers and specialty consultants under separate contracts. There is no contractual bond between the owner and the architect's engineers and consultants, consequently, engineers and consultants rely on the integrity and honesty of the architect to receive compensation.

Erickson was compensated for his efforts . . . while we, the consultants, had to borrow to pay our employees and creditors.

The article said Erickson "abdicated the financial responsibilities. . ." of the practice to others. His name is on the door, and it is his ultimate responsibility to assure that the government, his employees and his consultants are paid.

If Erickson is so confident that there are no improprieties, then why won't he pay us the $100,000 that he has owed us for almost a year?

STEPHEN HELLMAN

Los Angeles

The writer is a partner in the mechanical engineering firm of Hellman & Lober Inc.

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