Remembering James Stewart Polshek, 1930–2022
It is with deep sadness that we mark the passing this past Friday of James Stewart Polshek, longtime member of the Village Preservation Board of Advisors and friend of the organization, and profoundly thoughtful, compassionate, and influential architect and planner. Jim’s involvement with Village Preservation went back over 30 years; he helped launch our annual Village Awards, and was extremely helpful in garnering attention for our studies of the history and architecture of the Greenwich Village waterfront, which eventually helped lead to the designation of two landmark historic districts and one historic district extension, more than a half dozen individual landmarks, and two rezonings, protecting dozens of blocks and hundreds of historic buildings. He also sat for a generous and fascinating contribution to our oral history collection.
Jim was compassionate, generous, and a teacher who served as the dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. His many designs over the years centered the human experience and carefully considered their context within the broader social fabric and built environment.
He not only quietly and profoundly shaped design over the years, but also this organization. He will be greatly missed.