Birthplace: Seoul, Corea
Position: Managing, Planning and Design Partner, Gruen Associates, Los Angeles, California.
You’d have to really reach to find more prestigious supporters than those who sponsored Ki Suh Park for his 1953 U.S. emigration. Author James Michener and painter Norman Rockwell stood behind the young Corean on his quest to become an architect.
Their belief paid off in spades.
Park began his career in the San Francisco offices of John Lyon Reid, Architects and Engineers. Currently, Park directs the world-wide activites of a large architectural, planning, transportation and environmental assessment firm. Park designed the recent $300 million Los Angeles Convention Center expansion and was reponsible for the location and design of the I-105 Freeway in Southern California, which debuted October 1993. He also developed the bustling Koreatown Plaza.
He has managed these successes despite the racism he encountered as a new architect in early ’60s L.A. when many firms refused to hire Asian-Americans.
Park is married to Ildong Chey and they have three sons, David, Kevin and Edwin—an attorney, doctor and law student, respectively.
With what little free time he has, Park enjoys spending time with his grandchildren and playing tennis, swimming and attending the opera.
His advice? “Work harder and smarter than others.”