National Building Museum Announces Paul Goldberger as the Fourteenth Laureate of the Vincent Scully Prize

The National Building Museum presents its fourteenth Vincent Scully Prize to Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger, for his lifetime work of encouraging thoughtful discourse and debate about the importance of design. Goldberger has written for a number of publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, and is currently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. In announcing his selection, members of the Vincent Scully Prize jury—jury chair David Schwarz, architect, David M. Schwarz Architects; Deborah Berke, architect, Deborah Berke & Partners Architects; Ned Cramer, editor-in-chief, ARCHITECT; Gary Haney, design partner, SOM; and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, planner, professor, and author—recognized that Goldberger understands that architecture is in itself a form of public discourse. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk noted his unique ability to “explain architecture to the popular readership in a way that bridges the perceiver and the designer.” David Schwarz added, “Paul is a person that lets people understand the importance of place.”

On hearing that the news about the Scully Prize, Goldberger remarked “A long time ago, Vincent Scully convinced an eager Yale undergraduate that architecture was not just about buildings, but about all of culture and community, and that writing about it could be a meaningful pursuit. In a very real way I owe my career to the lessons I learned from him, which is why, for me, there could be no higher honor than to receive the prize that carries his name. I am truly grateful to the jury and to the National Building Museum for selecting me to receive the Vincent Scully Prize.”

A public award ceremony to celebrate Goldberger’s receipt of the prize will be held at the National Building Museum on Thursday, November 15, 2012 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. During the public program, Goldberger will deliver a talk on the state of architecture criticism today, the changing role of mainstream media in a digital world, and the rise of citizen journalists.

The Vincent Scully Prize and endowment were established by the National Building Museum in 1999 to recognize exemplary practice, scholarship, or criticism in architecture, historic preservation, and urban design. The National Building Museum honored Vincent Scully himself with the first Vincent Scully Prize in 1999. The prize grew rapidly in international prominence with the selection of laureates known for their advocacy of thoughtful urban spaces and historic preservation, exemplary practice of planning and design, commentary on design in contemporary life, and promotion of traditional arts in architecture.

Goldberger follows thirteen other internationally acclaimed authors, scholars, educators, and practitioners in the fields of architecture and urbanism who have been awarded the Vincent Scully Prize.

Past recipients are listed here with their affiliation at the time of their selection:

Vincent Scully, sterling professor emeritus of the History of Art at Yale University
Jane Jacobs, urbanist and author of The Nature of Economies
Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, founders of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co
Robert Venturi, FAIA and Denise Scott Brown, RIBA
His Highness the Aga Khan
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
Phyllis Lambert, architect, educator, philanthropist, and activist
Witold Rybczynski, architectural critic, author and essayist
Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
Robert A.M. Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture
Christopher Alexander, architect and author
Adele Chatfield-Taylor, president of the American Academy in Rome
William K. Reilly, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

The National Building Museum is America’s leading cultural institution dedicated to advancing the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives. Through its exhibitions, educational programs, online content, and publications, the Museum has become a vital forum for the exchange of ideas and information about the world we build for ourselves. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit

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