Being There: Esther McCoy, the Accidental Architectural Historian

“As architectural historians Robert Winter and David Gebhard first stated unequivocally in 1965,“Our present awareness of Southern California architectural heritage has been due almost to a one-woman crusade upon the part of the critic and historian, Esther McCoy.” McCoy’s ardent commitment to modern architecture was unpar- alleled, but her identity as a writer always remained foremost. “My particular field is history, but history of a past so recent that it flows into the present,” McCoy stated, “Flow may be an inexact word, for often the transition was tumultuous. But having started with the period from 1900, and having been engaged in writing about architecture for almost a quarter century, I was able to watch the present become the past. It is in terms of the present, the ever-shifting present, that I approach the past.” Source: Susan Morgan, “Being There: Esther McCoy, the Accidental Architectural Historian,” Archives of American Art Journal, no. 48, Spring 2009.