Donald Polsky
1928 - 2021
BORN
1928
DIED
2021
Polsky, Donald

Donald Polsky, a modern architect who brought the Mid-Century Modern style to the Midwest, died of COVID-19 and pneumonia. He was 92.

Born September 30, 1928 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, Polsky graduated from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor's degree in architecture in 1951. He served in the U.S. Air Force in French Morocco where he designed and built a radar installation, housing and storage facilities, before traveling to Los Angeles to become an apprentice to Richard Neutra, who helped establish Southern California's modern architectural aesthetic.

Polsky was so eager to work for the modern master that he offered his services without pay until Neutra recognized his value. Within weeks, Polsky was earning a salary. He went on to serve as a Neutra job captain from 1953 to 1956. Polsky later became the architecture director for MCA Inc., a predecessor to NBCUniversal Media, before deciding in 1964 to move his young family to Omaha, Nebraska, to establish his own practice.

An avid skier and ardent Cornhusker football fan, Polsky married Corinne Neer in 1957, a marriage that spanned 58 years until her death in 2015. Polsky is survived by his son Jeff Polsky, Jeff's wife Nancy and their daughters Sarah and Malia, as well as daughter Debbie Werner, her husband Andrew and their sons Jim and Rob.

Polsky won local, state and national recognition for his work, including the Harry F. Cunningham Gold Medal for Architectural Excellence from the Nebraska chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Architecture from the University of Nebraska College of Architecture.

In addition to designing homes, Polsky established the practice in the mid-1950s of overseeing construction, making him a pioneer of the design-build concept.

Polsky served as president of the Omaha chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1968 and of the Nebraska Society of Architects in 1976. He was elevated to fellowship in the American Institute of Architects in 2003. His homes continue to attract devoted followers decades after they were built.
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Published by Omaha World-Herald on Jan. 5, 2021.
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18 Entries
Lynne Dwyer, Los Angeles Calif
February 2, 2021
Thank you Donald Polsky for your wonderful work. For 30 years I have lived in a house you designed. It is a small, unpretentious, jewel that I value every day. I remember the moment I first saw our home, my heart skipped a beat. My sympathy to your family.
Lynne Dwyer
February 2, 2021
mary depaolo
January 14, 2021
Debbie, Jeff, and Family, I offer my sincere condolences on the loss of your father. He was part of Phil´s and my life for many years, doing what he loved, being an architect. He must have enjoyed many years being with both of your families in California where he could be with his grandchildren as well. He adored his family and I know you loved him as well. I am thinking of you, and the many memories of your dad and your mom. Love, Terri Schrager
Terri Schrager
January 10, 2021
I worked with Don in 1994-95 and was involved with the Schackel's remodel of the Feinberg house. I too learned so much from him in such a short time and I too owe so much of the Architect I am today to him. I have many fond memories of my time with Don and send my deepest sympathies to your family.
Curtis Johnson
January 8, 2021
I had the pleasure of working with Don for a total of six years. I learned so much from him over those years, I owe a lot of the Architect I am today to him. He will be missed.
Stephen Weber
January 7, 2021
Thank you all for your kind words. Here's a link to the Getty Archives that contains photos of a number of his homes (https://primo.getty.edu/primo-explore/search?query=creator,exact,%20Polsky,%20Donald,%20architect&vid=GRI). Also, the mysterious Miss Cassette wrote a detailed history of the Milder home that you can find here: https://myomahaobsession.com/2019/07/01/mysteries-of-omaha-312-south-70th-avenue/. Love to you all.
Jeff Polsky
January 7, 2021
Laura Pellissier
January 7, 2021
Dear Jeff, Sending you and your family my deepest sympathy. Love, Don Larson
Donald Larson
January 7, 2021
Thanks for sharing your stories. It's a wonderful reminder of his passion for architecture. Debbie
Debbie Werner
January 7, 2021
We offer our condolences to the Polsky family. My parents, Stan and Claire Feinberg, hired Don to build them a home in the late 1960´s. It was a beautiful home and we had many lovely years of memories there. The home has been lovingly restored which my parents were so grateful for. My parents had a tremendous amount of appreciation and admiration for Don Polsky. May his memory be a blessing.
Bobbie Feinberg
January 6, 2021
What a great privilege to know him and to grow up in a Polsky home.
Jeffrey
January 5, 2021
We are sending LOVE from the Wills Family to the Polsky Family. Mr. Polsky was Matt's mentor and boss when we were in high school back in the late 80's. Mr. Polsky taught Matt all about architecture from the ground up... literally. Matt helped landscape his yard and Mr. Polsky had to go to the ER because of poison ivy. Matt is now a licensed architect in Lincoln, Nebraska and still talks about how much he learned from Mr. Polsky.
Karen & Matt Wills
January 5, 2021
We are sending LOVE from the Wills Family to the Polsky Family. Mr. Polsky was Matt's mentor and boss when we were in high school back in the late 80's. Mr. Polsky taught Matt all about architecture from the ground up... literally. Matt helped landscape his yard and Mr. Polsky had to go to the ER because of poison ivy. Matt is now a licensed architect in Lincoln, Nebraska and still talks about how much he learned from Mr. Polsky.
Karen & Matt Wills
January 5, 2021
Brandon Schumacher
January 5, 2021
Don was a fantastic Architect, a wonderful mentor, and a great man. My sincerest condolences and prayers go out to Jeff and his family. He'll be missed by so many.
Brandon Schumacher
January 5, 2021
I loved meeting with him at one of his homes owned by Dr. Snider. Delightful man. So sorry for his families loss.
Traci Brown
January 5, 2021
Jeff and Debbie, I am so sorry to hear of your father's passing. I currently live in one of your father's homes. He built it for the Feinberg family in 1968. We purchased it in 1992 & had Don remodel & update the home to keep the mid-century style. Your father was such a smart & delightful man with a great sense of humor and a fabulous eye for design. He will be missed by many. Keeping you and your family in my prayers during this difficult time.
Laura Schnackel
January 5, 2021