Vincent Scully lived a long life of influencing architects with his lectures and literature. He was a Yale art historian for over 60 years, and had a decisive influence on the architectural practice in the last half of the 20th century. Scully authored books on Greek temples, Palladio’s villas and the American Indian pueblo, American architecture and urbanism, and many more on the architecture of modernism.
“I think he probably did more than anyone else over the last 60 years to affect not just architecture but architecture culture as well,” said Paul Goldberger, one of many former Scully students to enter the field because of him. “He showed us that architecture is not just forms in a vacuum. It’s about what kind of society you want to build.”
Professor Scully expressed shame in being slow to recognize the destruction of America’s cities in the name of urban renewal. In his book, “American Architecture and Urbanism,” he tried to redress by speaking out against displacement of the poor to make room for wider highways, and he became a critic of redevelopment in New Haven, his hometown and only 10 miles away from Maloney & Company’s Connecticut office!
In the 1990s, Scully supported New Urbanism, pioneered by two of his former students which stressed the importance of human-scale construction in maintaining a sense of community. He received the National Medal of Arts in 2004, and even has an award that bears his name given for “exemplary practice, scholarship or criticism in architecture, historic preservation and urban design.” Vincent Scully passed on November 30, 2017. We are proud to have had such an influential person in architecture so close to home.