When architecture historian Vincent Scully died in December at age 97, the field mourned the loss of a giant. After all, this was a man with a six-decade career at Yale, whom Philip Johnson once deemed “the most influential architecture teacher ever.” Now, there’s a new monument to his honor in a community indelibly shaped by his principles.
With a wide-ranging career that inspired Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk’s explorations of New Urbanism, it’s fitting that the thinker is now memorialized in Seaside, Florida, one of the first planned communities based on the philosophy. An early supporter of the plan, Scully taught Duany and Plater-Zyberk, as well as other notables who would go on to build in Seaside, including Alexander Gorlin and Robert A.M. Stern.
To honor his impact on this seaside town, a new mural was dedicated this weekend, during Seaside Prize festivities. The piece was painted by internationally known street artist Gaia (the nome d’arte of Baltimore-based muralist Andrew Pisacane), who was selected for the commission by architect and urbanist Dhiru Thadani, a former Seaside Prize winner. Gaia’s design features a portrait of the academic alongside an image of the Acropolis from the cover of The Earth, the Temple, and the Gods, all taking a pride of place on a purple wall in the center of town, near a generous open square—naturally.