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James Stewart Polshek (born 1930, Akron, Ohiomarker) is an American architect based in New York Citymarker. He is founder and senior design counsel of Polshek Partnership architects.

Education & background

Polshek enrolled in premed at Case Western Reserve Universitymarker's Adelbert College 1947, with thoughts of becoming a psychiatrist. He struggled with school and began taking a variety of courses, including a course in the history of modern architecture. After deciding to study architecture he enrolled at Yale Universitymarker, and graduated in 1955 with a Master of Architecture degree. He was also a Fulbright/Hayes fellow in Denmarkmarker and received a number of grants from the Graham Foundation.

After becoming dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in 1972, Western Reserve Universitymarker granted his bachelor of science degree in 1973, forgiving the 8 credits he was short.

Professional career

Polshek worked for I.M. Pei prior to starting his own firm, James Stewart Polshek Architect, in 1963. He is presently retired and maintains the title of Senior Design Counsel at the Polshek Partnership.

He served as the dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation from 1972 to 1987.

Polshek is unusual among top-tier architects for taking the position that architecture is more craft than fine art, and that architects have some measure of social responsibility.

Awards and honors

Polshek received the Gold Medal award from the New York City chapter of the American Institute of Architectsmarker in 1986. In 2002, he was honored with the Municipal Art Society’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciencesmarker. In 2005, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He has received honorary degrees from Pratt Institutemarker (1995), the New School University Parsons School of Designmarker (1995) and the New Jersey Institute of Technologymarker (2002).

See also


  1. Ringel, Susan: "The Test of Time", CWRU Magazine (2002)

External links

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