Five Women Accuse Architect Richard Meier of Sexual Harassment

Richard Meier

Richard Meier

Among the accusations leveled at Meier are that he exposed himself to a woman in his NY apartment, grabbed a woman's underwear through her dress at a practice party, and "asking a woman to undress in his apartment so she could be photographed".

Two of the women who worked for him said Meier exposed himself to them when they were sent to his NY apartment.

As one of our most well-known alumni, Richard Meier has been associated with Cornell University and the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning through his gifts that support students and faculty.

Faced with the accusations, Meier issued a statement through Richard Meier and Partners, saying, "I am deeply troubled and embarrassed by the accounts of several women who were offended by my words and actions". The incidents range in time from the 1980s to 2009, when Laura Trimble Elbogen, Meier's onetime assistant, says the architect asked her to undress after inviting her to his home under the guise of celebrating her new job; and Alexis Zamlich, a communications assistant for the firm, recalls Meier exposing himself to her during a visit to his apartment. Stella Lee told the Times that she arrived at his apartment in 2000 to find her boss wearing only a terry cloth bathrobe that exposed his penis. Within two months, she said, Meier allegedly "started to roll my underwear around in his fingers" while guiding her around an office holiday party with his hand on the small of her back.

A fifth woman, who does not work for the firm, told the newspaper she was forced to flee Meier's home in the 1980s when she said he forcefully pulled her onto a bed. Lee said Koe described Meier as "always chasing women, and nothing stopped him" and said she once turned down Meier's attempt to come on to her.

"I am deeply disturbed to learn of the allegations of sexual misconduct by Richard Meier (B.Arch. '56), which were reported in an article in today's New York Times", Kent Kleinman, the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University, told Hyperallergic in a statement. Monk told The Times that she had received warnings from other people in the company when she first joined and was told to not to stay at the office alone at night. Therefore, we will decline his new gift to name the chair of the Department of Architecture, and we are cancelling the event that had been planned for next week to celebrate the gift.

Meier won the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1984. His firm, Richard Meier & Partners Architects, has offices in NY and Los Angeles. We will update this story as we receive more information.

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