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Gregory J. Scott, FAIA, has been ingrained in the fabric of Lancaster City for decades, but his roots go back to an 1802 farmhouse in Bucks County, Pennsylvania where he grew up.
From a very young age, Gregg remembers being drawn to art, specifically drawing, with a penchant for entertaining and a desire to be a leader. As he reflects on his career and his life, he sees all three of those things forming a thread to where he is today.
Architecture was not always his plan when he set out to pick a path for himself. But a mechanical drawing class in high school and an urging from his father to pursue something other than art led him to Penn State for that very thing. Gregg said his first class there felt like a fish to water.
“I really felt like this is what I was meant to do,” he said. “I excelled, graduated with honors, and proved to my high school guidance counselor that I was indeed college material.”
After graduation and a four-year internship, jobs were sparse, and Gregg found himself unemployed and willing to take a chance on an interview for a design architect in Lancaster City in the mid 1970s.
That interview was for a position with Jim Reese, a partner at what would become RLPS Architects when Gregg Scott became the “S” in “RLPS.” Gregg’s career there spanned 43 years of designing, problem solving, and business development before he retired in 2019.
Meanwhile, a colleague’s wife who worked for LNP convinced Gregg to start a monthly column on architecture and design.
“Through that, I was able to do what I’m passionate about, which is educating and researching and telling stories. And that was my forum,” Gregg shared.
Through research for his column, Gregg discovered C. Emlen Urban. As Gregg dug into the architect’s life, he realized only two minor publications had ever been written about Lancaster’s most prolific architect. After a 24-month installment of his column on Urban and many connections made with Urban’s family through these writings, Gregg set out to write his first book, Urban Legend: The Life and Legacy of C. Emlen Urban, which released November 16, 2023.
There are many parallels Gregg notes between himself and Urban, from their aptitude to their professional standing in the community. The most impactful thing they share, however, is their love of Lancaster and its history, which is why Gregg feels such pride in being the catalyst who gets to tell Urban’s story.
“I’ve dedicated the book to the citizens of Lancaster for encouraging me to write it,” he mused. “It’s not my book— it’s Urban’s book for the community.”
Order your copy of Urban Legend at egganddartbooks.com.
The Reach High series is introduces you to business and nonprofit leaders who are thoughtfully innovating with a spirit of servant leadership. Brought to you by High Foundation, you can find out more about their mission to be a Bridge to Opportunity for the Lancaster community at highfoundation.org.