The Real Deal.com
More than a decade before William Friedman designed the collapsed Surfside condominium, Florida’s board of architecture suspended him for six months for designing structures that toppled during Hurricane Betsy. Sign pylons that were “an integral part of the structure” of a Miami commercial building failed during the 1965 storm, according to documents from the Florida State Board of Architecture, obtained by The Real Deal. The pylons were “insufficient and grossly inadequate” to withstand the wind pressure of the hurricane force winds, and were not in accordance with building code for the location or “to accepted standards of architectural practice,” the Florida Board of Architecture wrote in its order suspending Friedman. In 1966, the five-member architecture board found Friedman in violation of Florida law and guilty of “gross incompetency, in that he negligently, improperly, and carelessly” designed the pylons. Friedman’s suspension started on June 1, 1967 and ended on December 1, 1967. The details of Friedman’s suspension were revealed after a public records request filed by TRD. The revelations add to the list of controversies tied to the development team of the Champlain Towers South. So far, there is no evidence that any of the original development team, including the developer, the architect or the engineer, played a role in the collapse. Still, the findings could provide another element for investigators as they try to piece together the cause of the collapse of Champlain Towers South that killed 97 people.