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Male, US, born 1930-02-11

Associated with the firms network

Ennead Architects LLP; Polshek Partnership; Polshek and Partners, Architects; Polshek, James Stewart, Architect; Polshek, James Stewart, and Associates; Polshek, James Stewart, and Partners, Architects

Professional History


Designer, I.M. Pei and Associates, New York City, 1955-1956.

Designer, Ulrich Frazen and Associates, Architects, New York City, 1957-1960.

Designer, Westermann and Miller and Associates, New York, NY, 1960-1961.

Founder, James Stewart Polshek, Architect, New York, NY, 1963-1970.

Partner, James Stewart Polshek and Associates, Architects, New York, NY, 1970-1980.

Partner, James Stewart Polshek and Partners, Architects, New York, NY, 1980-1994.

Partner, Polshek and Partners, Architects, New York, NY, 1994-1998.

Partner, Polshek Partnership, Architects, New York, NY, 1998-2010. In 2005, he was the "Design Partner" of the Polshek Partnership. In 2008, his title was "Senior Design Counsel" at the same firm.

Design Counsel, Ennead Architects LLP, New York, NY, 2010-present.


Professor/Dean, Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, New York, NY, 1972-1987.

Special Advisor to the President for Planning and Design at Columbia University, New York, NY, 1972-1987.

Member, New York School of Interior Design (NYSID), Advisory Board, New York, NY, 2005.

Member, Lycée Français de New York, Advisory Board, New York, NY, 2005.

Professional Activities

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Polshek gave a lecture entitled "An Architecture of Reconciliation," at Columbia University, New York, NY, 11/09/2005.

Architect Member, Art Commission of the City of New York, c. 2007.

He delivered the AIA, Philadelphia Chapter's 2008 Louis I. Kahn Memorial Lecture, Tuesday, 05/06/2008, at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, Philahelphia, PA.

Trustee, New York Municipal Art Society, New York, NY.

Co-Founder, Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility, Berkeley, CA, 1981.

Professional Awards

He has received several grants from the Graham Foundation, Chicago, IL.

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA).

Recipient, American Institute of Architects (AIA), New York Chapter, Gold Medal, 1986.

Recipient, AIA Architecture Firm Award, 1992.

Recipient, New York Municipal Art Society, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal, 2002.

Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, MA, 2002.

Member, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY, 2005.

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA);

Recipient, American Institute of Architects (AIA). New York Chapter's Medal of Honor;

Recipient, Honorary Doctorate, Pratt Institute, New York, NY, 1995.

Recipient, Honorary Doctorate, New School University, Parsons School of Design, New York, NY, 1995.

Recipient, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Newark, NJ, 2002.



B.S., Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 1973. (Polshek never completed his undergraduate coursework, falling eight credits short; this was forgiven by Case Western University in 1972, after he became Dean of the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University.) He entered Case Western University's Adelbert College with a focus on pre-medical studies in 1947.

M.Arch., from Yale University, Yale School of Architecture, New Haven, CT;

College Awards

Polshek was awarded Yale University's AIA School Medal Award, 1954.

Polshek was a Fulbright/Hayes Fellow in Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1956-1957.



His parents were Alex and Pearl (Beyer) Polshek.


He married Ellyn May Margolis on 06/29/1952. In 1989, Ellyn Polshek was an assistant district attorney in the Appeals Bureau of the Manhattan District Attorney's office.


He and Ellyn had two children: Peter Max Polshek and Jennifer Hyde Polshek.

Peter Polshek married Adeline Hofer in 08/1989. At the time of their marriage, she taught architecture at the University of Florida; he was a studying to get his master's degree in conservation biology at the Uiversity of Florida. He later went into real estate in Gainesville, FL.

Jennifer Polshek married Peter Randall Thompson in Stone Ridge, NY, in 06/1991. She worked as a child's librarian in the Newton, MA, Free Library, while he was a software engineer at Lotus Development Corporation. She became the ‎Library Director at Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA.

Biographical Notes

Member/Secretary, The Climate Museum, Board of Trustees, New York, NY, c. 2016.

Member, Yale Club of New York, New York, NY.

Member, Century Association, New York, NY.

Associated Locations

  • Akron, OH (Architect's Birth)
    Akron, OH

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PCAD id: 1010

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