Igor B. Polevitzky biography

Igor B. Polevitzky


1912 – 1978


Who was Igor B. Polevitzky?

Igor B. Polevitzky was an American architect, most recognized for his contribution to the architectural styling of Miami Beach hotels, residences and the development of the tropical modern home in South Florida.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia June 21, 1911, Igor Polevitzky was the son of Russian electrical engineer Boris Alexander Polevitzky and Katherine Polevitzky, a physician and microbiologist. In November 1922, Polevitzky’s family immigrated to the United States as it is believed the father had some involvement with the Russian Revolution.

Polevitzky’s mother Katherine, immediately received a research position at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where Igor was able to attend in 1929. His father receives a position at General Electric through a friend. Although he originally studied civil engineering for a year and a half, he was directed to the school architecture where he studied under the well-known architect and critic of Modern Classicism, Paul Philippe Cret; who was credited for having major influence on Igor. Polevitzky graduated Cum Laude in 1934, when the school remained Beaux-Arts throughout his stay.

Upon his graduation in 1934, Polevitzky moved to Miami and began what would become his career focus on tropical design. Working with other modernists of the time in Miami, Robert Law Weed and classmate Thomas Triplett Russell, the firm began to bring a new Modernist approach to Miami and Miami Beach. At the time in Miami, the effects of the depression had begun to pass and the city was beginning to boom with population growth, tourism and a new regionalist architecture. The style was a response to the specific demands of the south Florida coastal climate by using innovative passive-cooling design strategies. "This singular integration of concepts of Modernism and regionalism defines the nature of Polevitzky’s contribution to the aesthetic of the region.


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Saint Petersburg
Also known as
  • Igor Polevitzky
  • United States of America

on July 23, 2013

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