Yale's Vincent Scully to Open International Festival Symposium on Cities of the Future

Vincent Scully, the Sterling Professor Emeritus and lecturer in the history of art at Yale University, will deliver the opening address for the International Festival of Arts and Ideas’ three-day symposium, “Cities of the Future: Dinosaurs or Dynamos?”

Professor Scully’s talk, titled “America at Millennium: Architecture and Community,” will be presented Thursday, June 25, at 10 a.m. in the Alderman Chambers, City Hall, 165 Church St.

Thursday’s talk is the second time in just over a week that Scully will present this lecture. On June 17, he offered his thoughts on “Architecture at Millennium” at the White House on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, the most prestigious architecture award in the nation. Scully was keynote speaker for the event, which was attended by the President and Mrs. Clinton.

“They seemed very interested in what I was saying,” says Scully, who focused his talk on the revival of “traditional urbanism” over the last 30 years, including New Haven’s development and the city’s attempts to “recreate and redesign architecture in the community.”

He says he is “especially delighted” to speak in the Alderman Chambers on Thursday for a personal reason: 60 years ago, his father was president of New Haven’s Board of Aldermen, serving for more than a decade.

Scully, who holds bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Yale, has taught at the University since 1947. He is generally considered unsurpassed as an architectural scholar and critic, and is recognized as a force in the development of modern architecture. He has authored numerous articles and books, including “Modern Architecture: The Architecture of Democracy,” “The Earth, the Temple and the Gods: Greek Sacred Architecture,” “Louis I. Kahn” and “Architecture: The Natural and the Manmade.” He wrote and narrated a two-part PBS series, “New World Visions: American Art and the Metropolitan Museum, 1650-1914,” originally broadcast in 1985.

“Vincent Scully has had an enormous impact on American communities through his passionate advocacy of the view that urban environments should foster community values and local pride,” said Sheldon Hackney of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in 1995, when Scully was named the NEH Jefferson Lecturer. “He has consistently argued the benefits to the human spirit of preserving traditional architecture and incorporating it into a cohesive design for the community. With this vision he has galvanized among architects and urban planners an entire school of thought about community building, with profoundly beneficial consequences for people in towns and urban communities across America.”

The first part of the “Cities of the Future” symposium is titled “What Works?” and will be held Thursday, 10 a.m.-noon. The second part of the symposium, “How will Cities Change?” will be held Friday, June 26, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The third part, an interactive design workshop titled “Applying the Lesson,” will take place Saturday, June 27, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Both the Thursday and Friday sessions will be held at City Hall; Saturday’s session will take place at the CT Financial Center, 157 Church St., 27th floor.

In addition to Scully, other Yale-affiliated symposium participants include Alan Plattus, associate dean of the School of Architecture; and Bruce Alexander, vice president for New Haven and state affairs. They will be joined by Festival director Paul Collard, award-winning journalist Roberta Gratz and Karen Gilvarg, director of planning for the City of New Haven, among others.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325