American Architecture and Urbanism
A classic of American architectural and urban planning history
Written by the foremost architectural historian in America, American Architecture and Urbanism is an illustrated history of American architecture and city planning based on Vincent Scully's conviction that the two are inextricably linked and must therefore be treated together. He defines architecture as a "continuing dialogue between generations which creates an environment across time." This definitive survey extends beyond the cities themselves to the American scene, which has inspired the "reasonable balanced, closed and ordered forms," and above all the "probity," that Scully feels typifies American architecture.
This landmark book traces the full cycle of development from the settlements of the Pueblo Indians (the first true urban communities in the United States) to the urban megastructures that are being projected today. Scully describes the qualities shared by buildings as diverse as the mission churches of the Southwest and the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century houses of New England towns that beautifully expressed the adaptation of the European, and especially the English, classical heritage to American ideals and conditions. Moving on to the nineteenth century and then to the modern period, Scully examines the work of Frank Furness, H. H. Richardson, and Louis Sullivan; the New York skyscrapers; and the emergence of the Beaux Arts school, and of the Prairie school represented by Frank Lloyd Wright. He interprets the influence of the International school and the Bauhaus in our own time and discusses the work of major contemporary architects Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson, Robert Venturi, Moshe Safdie, and others.
American Architecture and Urbanism concludes with a searching analysis of the role of architecture and urban planning in contemporary times and their relation to public interest and government policy.