It is no tragedy to die at the age of ninety-seven, as Vincent Scully did last November, certainly not after a life as full and accomplished as his. He was America’s most significant historian of architecture, and surely the only one who could have claimed to have changed the course of American architecture. During his half-century at Yale University, he left his mark on generations of consequential architects, from Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, and Robert A. M. Stern down to Maya Lin, Andrés Duany, and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. And yet there is a note of melancholy in...


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