Inspired Architect James Stewart Polshek

Friday, August 29, 2014

Architect James Stewart Polshek. The Rose Center at the American Museum of Natural History, New York. Architect James Stewart Polshek. The Rose Center at the American Museum of Natural History, New York. ((c) Jeff Goldberg/Esto/James Stewart Polshek)

We are re-airing this interview which originally aired on April 29, 2014. 

Architect James Stewart Polshek, whose works include the Rose Center at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Newseum in Washington, D.C.,  discusses his life’s work and the process of designing buildings. He also served as the dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation from 1972 to 1987. His book Build, Memory is about witnessing changing architectural tastes, working with numerous high-profile personalities, and designing some of America’s most prominent buildings, including the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the renovation and expansion of Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Teijin Institute for Biomedical Research, 1962-64. Sand Garden.

New York State Bar Center, Albany, New York, 1968-71.

United States Embassy, Muscat, Oman, 1981-91.


Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1988-98.

Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, Greenpoint, New York, 1990-2014.

New York Times Printing Plant, College Point, New York, 1993-97.

Carnegie Hall Main Stage. New York, 1978-2003.

Newseum/Freedom Forum Foundation World Headquarters, Washington, DC, 2000-08.

Seamen's Church Institute, New York, 1988-91.

The Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History, New York, 1994-2000.


James Stewart Polshek

Comments [1]

Stephen Pryor

I was incensed to hear the pretentious dribble from James Polshek on your show this afternoon. I have long ago given up on modern architecture. The glass boxes that pollute the American sky line make most American cities incredibly bland. The so called post-modern architecture is seldom any better with its distorted shapes and cynical embellishments that mock traditional architecture. However, Polshek’s claim that he is sensitive to historical context is the ultimate in hubris. His butchering of the Hayden Planetarium is a case in point. It has all the charm of a natural gas storage tank. His Clinton Center in Little Rock looks like an industrial accident. The only building in New York that he did that is half way descent is his sewage treatment plant. It is ironic that he makes everything look like it should house feces settling tanks except the building that does.

Aug. 29 2014 02:53 PM

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