Architecture and history are inseparable, as are American and European architectural history.
By Mike Singer
“History, however expressed, is an antidote to the hubris of the present, and we will be judged by history no less than those who went before us,” said historian and best-selling author David McCullough at the opening-day general session of the AIA 2012 Convention yesterday in Washington, D.C. Architecture, he explained, is a way to uniquely access history and human accomplishments of all kinds.
In a morning session that illustrated the enduring power of both architects and architecture, McCullough drew on numerous examples from his long and distinguished writing career, which has earned him two Pulitzer Prizes and a host of other awards. Underscoring the convention theme of “Design Connects,” the Yale graduate recounted how one of his early mentors, Yale’s esteemed architectural educator Vincent Scully, talked about art and architecture in the “context of everything.” Scully’s lecture on the Brooklyn Bridge started McCullough on his own dramatic account of that epic engineering feat in his early best seller, The Great Bridge, which will be re-issued in a special 40th anniversary hardcover edition this fall.