In the second half of the 20th century Professor Vincent Scully of Yale University emerged as the nation's leading architectural historian and critic. An early champion of modern architecture, in the 1950s Scully initiated a revival of interest in America's vernacular traditions of domestic architecture. In the '60s he emerged as a forceful critic of modern city planning and a defender of historic buildings and the humane values of the living city.
A brilliant author and commentator, his 20 books covered the entire history of architecture from pre-history to modern times. At Yale, he lectured to a perpetually packed auditorium, initiating enraptured students into the world of art history, 500 at a time. The generations of architects, planners and public servants he inspired took his ideas from the lecture hall to the streets of America's cities. Collectively, they moved the emphasis of American architecture and city planning from eradicating the past in the name of an abstract ideal of efficiency, to creating livable communities on a human scale.
Vincent Scully gave his first lectures in architecture as a graduate student in 1947, his last in 2009. For over 60 years he informed, enlightened and inspired. When he was done, he had not only taught history, he had helped make it.