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.