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A former Yale architecture student is suing architect David Childs and architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, claiming they stole his design and used it for Freedom Tower at the WTC site. Thomas Shine and his lawyer say that in 1999, Shine's design for "Olympic Tower" was evaluated in Yale class by Childs who said of the twisted tower and exterior grid, "It is a very beautiful shape. You took the skin and developed it around the form - great." Naturally, Childs hasn't been available for comment. Gothamist thinks Daniel Libeskind is laughing somewhere. Childs is the master architect of Freedom Tower, ever since developer Larry Silverstein appointed him in charge of the building and taking that power from WTC site master planner Libeskind. Gothamist think the current design sucks, so it might present a curious dilemma for Childs: Either deny he took ideas from Shine (ideas are derivative!) and stand behind Freedom Tower, which is most likely, or claim that the acid reflux made him delirious and caused him to crib Shine's design and create this mess.

LMDC's site on the Freedom Tower design. Gothamist on the fighting between Childs and Libeskind and the building's aspirations to be the tallest.