Ki Suh Park, FAIA, FAICP, Hon. FKIA 1932-2013
The Partners of Gruen Associates regret to announce the passing of Ki Suh Park, a pioneering Korean American architect and planner and former Managing Partner of Gruen Associates. Mr. Park passed away on January 16th at the age of 80, after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He leaves behind a legacy of projects in Los Angeles, across the nation and worldwide, as well as decades of passionate commitment to community service and leadership.Park arrived in the United States from his native South Korea in 1953, towards the end of the Korean War, sponsored by author James Michener, artist Norman Rockwell, the McClellan family of Montebello, CA, and then-Congressman Ralph Harvey of Indiana. He received his BA in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 1957 and then his Master in Architecture and Master in City Planning from MIT in 1959 and 1961, respectively.
Park joined Gruen Associates in 1961, was named Vice President in 1968, Partner in 1972 and Managing Partner in 1981. At Gruen Associates, he directed the firm’s worldwide architecture, planning, transportation, environmental, landscape architecture, and interiors activities and was one of only a handful of Asian Americans who headed a major architectural and planning firm. In 2011, he celebrated 50 years with Gruen Associates. He retired from the firm at the end of 2011. Under his leadership, Gruen Associates greatly expanded its professional activities in the United States and abroad.
In 1986, Park was the first Korean American to be named to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. He also was the recipient of the 1994 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award from the AIA, an award established in the name of the late civil rights leader who challenged architects to make significant contributions to society. In 1999 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Services from the AIA California Council. In 2003 he was inducted into the Korean Institute of Architects as an Honorary Fellow.
Park also served as the Chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Transportation Quality for the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. He received the 1991 Distinguished Leadership Award from the California Chapter of the American Planning Association. In January 1999 he was elected as a Fellow in the founding class of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Mr. Park is survived by his wife of 56 years, Ildong, who he met while attending the University of California, Berkeley; sons David (Jackie); Kevin; and Edwin (Helen), granddaughters Kathryn and Kristina and grandsons Jeremy and Tyler. A fifth grandchild is due in February.
Memorial services for Ki Suh Park will be held on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 11:00am at the Westwood United Methodist Church, located at 10497 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90024, (310) 474-4511.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Dr. George A. Fisher Research Fund, Stanford Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 20466, Stanford, California 94309.