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James Polshek

James Stewart Polshek, FAIA
Born Akron, Ohio
Nationality United States
Occupation Architect

AIA Medal of Honor (1986)

AIA Architecture Firm Award (1992)
Practice Polshek Partnership, now Ennead Architects
Buildings William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Center, Rose Center for Earth and Space, Newseum

James Stewart Polshek (born 1930, Akron, Ohio) is an American architect living in New York City. He is the founder of Polshek Partnership, the firm at which he was Principal Design Partner for more than four decades. He is currently Design Counsel to the legacy firm Ennead Architects, as well as actively engaged as design lead on multiple projects.[1]


  • Education & background 1
  • Professional career 2
  • Awards and honors 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Education & background

Polshek enrolled in premed at Case Western Reserve University's Adelbert College 1947. He began taking a variety of courses, including a course in the history of modern architecture. After deciding to study architecture he enrolled at Yale University, and graduated in 1955 with a Master of Architecture degree.[2] He was also a Fulbright/Hayes fellow in Denmark and received a number of grants from the Graham Foundation.

After he became dean of

  • James Stewart Polshek website
  • James Stewart Polshek Tumblr
  • Ennead Architects Homepage
  • CWRU article about Polshek, his firm, and the Clinton Center design.
  • Awarding of CWRU Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Biography at
  • Controversy over design for the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
  • James Polshek at the archINFORM database.
  • Information at

External links

  1. ^ Polshek Partnership Changes Its Name to Ennead
  2. ^ a b Ringel, Susan: "The Test of Time", CWRU Magazine (2002)
  3. ^ Bohlen, Celestine (2001-01-22), "Built for Substance, Not Flash; James Stewart Polshek Says Architecture Should Serve People Instead of Egos",  


See also

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

Polshek received the Gold Medal award from the New York City chapter of the American Institute of Architects 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 Sciences. In 2005, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Awards and honors

His book Building, Memory will be published in 2014 by Monacelli Press.

Polshek currently serves as the architect commissioner on the NYC Design Commission.

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.

He served as the dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation from 1972 to 1987.[3]

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

Professional career


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