Wojciech G. Lesnikowski

Wojciech G. Lesnikowski, Don Hatch Distinguished Professor of Architecture at the University of Kansas, passed away April 17, 2014 in Lawrence, KS after a courageous battle with cancer.
Professor Lesnikowski was born May 9, 1938 in Lublin, Poland to Roman and Irena Lesnikowski. He graduated in 1961 with a Master of Architecture from Krakow University of Technology before immigrating to Paris in 1964 to work for the renowned architect Le Corbusier. In 1968, Professor Lesnikowski immigrated to the United States to teach at the Yale School of Architecture. His long career in architecture education took him to Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, L’Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris-Val de Seine, Krakow University of Technology, and the University of Kansas, among others. His design contributions include the Tour Gan at La Défense in Paris, the CNA Center and John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, both in Chicago, IL, the Illinois State Library in Springfield, IL, and the U.S. Bank Center in Milwaukee, WI. He authored five books, including Rationalism and Romanticism in Architecture and The New French Architecture, as well as hundreds of monographs and articles on European and American architecture. In 1990, Professor Lesnikowski was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by President François Mitterrand of France. In 2013, he received a Laureate from the City of Krakow for lifetime achievements.
A world-citizen, Professor Lesnikowski was a prolific storyteller and Francophile who loved traveling, music, history, mountains, and his dogs. He was a beloved and cherished husband, and his heart was always evident in the presence of his family. He taught his daughters to dream of a future without limits and to have the courage to follow those dreams. Alexandra and Natalie will always hold dear the epic tales of Dad and Rabbit George, whose misadventures captivated them at bedtime for so many years. It would be remiss not to include a nod to his mischievous side, both endearing and entertaining. He brought light and beauty into our lives and will be dearly missed.
Professor Lesnikowski is survived by his wife, Julie, daughters, Alexandra and Natalie, and brother, Jan-Marek. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Ula, and second wife, Rebecca.
A memorial mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 25, 2014 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. Memorial contributions can be made to the Wojciech Lesnikowski Global Scholarship Fund at the University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design, & Planning to benefit architecture students pursuing study abroad programs. Contributions can be made in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

12 Condolences

  1. Jim and Doreen on April 18, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    We are so very sorry for your loss. We love you, Natalie
    Jim and Doreen

  2. Kelli Church on April 21, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    What an amazing legacy he left on this world. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  3. Steve's Auto Plaza Body Shop on April 22, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Julie and girls,

    Our deepest condolences on the lost of Wojciech. Our encounters were few but always enjoyable and memorable.
    We will never forget you both coming in the shop and sharing with us. Julie you and the girls will be in our prayers.

    Steve Dryden and
    Belinda Crockett

  4. Betsy Alford on April 22, 2014 at 9:28 am

    My beautiful girls,
    I am so sorry to hear about Wojciech. What a dear sweet man with a wicked sense of humor. He was one of those rare people who could make you laugh even when you were feeling hopeless. I am sure you have countless lovely memories to help you through this loss. He will be remembered by me for his two amazing daughters who shared his compassion for life and his dazzling wife who brightens any room she walks into.
    Happy travels on your next adventure, Wojciech!
    Love you all, Betsy

  5. Jan-Marek on April 22, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Julie and beloved girls-I am in mourning with You- Uncle Marek, Warsaw

  6. Roman Kadron on April 23, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Dear Julie,
    Our most profound condolences for your loss
    of Wojciech, this marvelous man !
    Eva and Roman

  7. Justyna (San Francisco), Magda and Przemek (Bielsko-Biala) on April 25, 2014 at 1:09 am

    Dear Julie, Alex and Natalie, we are deeply saddened by your loss and join you in sorrow and mourning. Wojtek was one of a kind, a true Renaissance Man, a humanist with an adventurous scientific mind and vision, a man of great heart and wisdom. His Polish friends will miss him very much.


    Magda & Przemek (Bielsko-Biala), Justyna (San Francisco)

  8. Todd & Trisha Brabender on April 25, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Our sincere condolences to the family. Wojciech was such an inspiration to so many throughout his life. His legacy will live on and on. We will miss him in the neighborhood.

    Todd & Trisha Brabender
    1236 Inverness Drive
    (The Snowblower Guy)

  9. Adam Antoniak Architect, Katowice on April 26, 2014 at 5:37 am

    Dear Wojciech! Recalling the joint work in Katowice in Poland have you our last goodbye. Please rest in peace.

  10. Anna and Jan on April 29, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    We knew Wojciech since 2011. At the beginning he was for us an architect with lots of experience and visions of modern architecture. After some time he became our friend, a great man with unbelievable life who started his journey in the sixties – from Poland he moved to France and later to USA. He derived benefits from every place he stayed… and even in difficult, tragic situations he somehow coped with life.

    Such a great loss is also a part of life. We are very sorry for your loss Julie…This month we said goodbye to our Friend and it was hard to say…

  11. The Association of Polish Architects on May 7, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Our condolences to the family. It’s an enormous loss for Polish and the world architecture. We lost a master and a friend.
    The Association of Polish Architects.

  12. Annie Greskiewicz Stevens on May 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Dear Julie,

    Though I only met your esteemed husband once at Mary Elizabeth and Gilles’ wedding, he left a lasting impression on both myself and my husband Paul that evening. He had that unforgettable aura about him.

    Being of Polish Catholic ancestry myself, I was raised to have Polish Pride. Wojciech was the perfect ambassador for all Poles around the world. What a wonderful legacy he left you and your daughters.
    Our heart goes out to you in your grief. We are very sorry that you and the world lost him so soon. No Fair!

    With love and best wishes, Annie and Paul Stevens

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