Georgia architect claims NYC’s One World Trade Center stole his design

A Gwinnett County architect says the design for One World Trade Center was stolen from his 1999 master’s thesis, according to a federal lawsuit filed this week.

Jeehoon Park, principal of Qube Architecture in Suwanee, claims another architecture firm, a construction company and entities controlled by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey violated his copyright on a design in the creation of the highly recognizable building. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, names Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Tishman Construction Corporation and LLCs controlled by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as defendants. 

The suit claims that employees of the architecture firm, including Parks’ master’s thesis adviser, saw his design on several occasions and copied it for the trade center building without crediting him.

“The form of One World Trade Center is a simple and iconic geometric form and SOM has shown, countless times now, the origins of its concept and the development of its design,” said Elizabeth Kubany, a spokesperson for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, in a statement. “This lawsuit feels like an attempt to get attention or money and we are certain this claim will be found to be baseless.”

Tishman declined to comment. The Port Authority did not return requests for comment.

The Manhattan skyscraper, opened in 2014, was built on the grounds of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Known colloquially as the Freedom Tower, it stands 1,776 feet high, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth tallest on earth.

Park designed his thesis…

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