Paul Goldberger

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Paul Goldberger
Born (1950-12-04) December 4, 1950 (age 69)[1][2]
Alma materYale University (B.A., 1972)
Occupationarchitectural critic, journalist, educator
Spouse(s)Susan L. Solomon, co-founder and CEO of The New York Stem Cell Foundation
Childrenthree sons: Adam, a composer for film and television in Los Angeles, known professionally as Tree Adams; Ben, journalist who is an assistant managing editor at Time magazine in New York, and Alex, who works for the Bill Simmons Media Group in Los Angeles.
Parent(s)Morris Goldberger, Edna Kronman[1]
AwardsPulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism (1984)
Vincent Scully Prize (2012) the leading figure in architecture

Paul Goldberger (born December 4, 1950) is an American architectural critic and educator, and a Contributing Editor for Vanity Fair magazine. From 1997 to 2011 he was the Architecture Critic for The New Yorker where he wrote the magazine's celebrated "Sky Line" column.[3] He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in New York City.[4] He was formerly Dean of the Parsons School of Design, a division of The New School. The Huffington Post has said that he is "arguably the leading figure in architecture criticism".[5]

Life and career[edit]

Goldberger was born in Passaic, New Jersey, the son of Morris Goldberger and Edna Kronman,[1] and he grew up in distinctly low-rise Nutley, New Jersey,[6] where he graduated from Nutley High School. He subsequently attended and graduated from Yale University in 1972.[7]

He began his career at The New York Times, where in 1984 his architecture criticism was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, the highest award in journalism.[8]

He is the author of several books, most recently "Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry," published in 2015 by Alfred A. Knopf; Why Architecture Matters, published in 2009 by Yale University Press;[9] Building Up and Tearing Down: Reflections on the Age of Architecture, a collection of his architecture essays published in 2009 by Monacelli Press,[10] and Christo and Jeanne-Claude, published in 2010 by Taschen.[11] In 2008 Monacelli published Beyond the Dunes: A Portrait of the Hamptons, which he produced in association with the photographer Jake Rajs. Paul Goldberger’s chronicle of the process of rebuilding Ground Zero, entitled UP FROM ZERO: Politics, Architecture, and the Rebuilding of New York, which was published by Random House in the fall of 2004, and brought out in a new, updated paperback edition in 2005, was named one of The New York Times Notable Books for 2004. Paul Goldberger has also written The City Observed: New York, The Skyscraper, On the Rise: Architecture and Design in a Post-Modern Age, Above New York, and The World Trade Center Remembered.

He lectures widely around the country on the subject of architecture, design, historic preservation and cities, and he has taught at both the Yale School of Architecture and the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley in addition to The New School. His writing has received numerous awards in addition to the Pulitzer, including the President’s Medal of the Municipal Art Society of New York, the medal of the American Institute of Architects and the Medal of Honor of the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation, awarded in recognition of what the Foundation called "the nation’s most balanced, penetrating and poetic analyses of architecture and design." In May 1996, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani presented him with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Preservation Achievement Award in recognition of the impact of his writing on historic preservation in New York. In 1993, he was named a Literary Lion, the New York Public Library’s tribute to distinguished writers. In 2007, he was presented with the Ed Bacon Foundation’s Award for Professional Excellence, named in honor of Philadelphia’s legendary planner, and in 2009 he received the Gene Burd Urban Journalism Award from the Urban Communication Foundation. In 2012 he received the Vincent Scully Prize, given annually by the National Building Museum in Washington, DC to a person whose work represents "exemplary practice, scholarship or criticism in architecture, historic preservation or urban design." Previous winners have included Jane Jacobs, Prince Charles, the Aga Khan, and Robert A.M. Stern. In 2012 he was also awarded the Gold Medal of the National Institute of Social Sciences.

He has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees by Pratt Institute, the University of Miami, Kenyon College, the College of Creative Studies and the New York School of Interior Design for his work as a critic and cultural commentator on design. He appears frequently on film and television to discuss art, architecture, and cities, including a program on the architect Benjamin Latrobe for PBS. He has also served as a special consultant and advisor on architecture and planning matters to several major cultural and educational institutions, including the Morgan Library in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, the New York Public Library and Cornell and Harvard universities. He serves as special advisor to the jury for the Richard A. Driehaus Prize, a $200,000 prize awarded annually for traditional architecture and urbanism. He is a graduate of Yale University,[12] and is a trustee of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio;[13] the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C.;[14] the Forum for Urban Design, and the New York Stem Cell Foundation.

Personal life and family[edit]

He is married to Susan L. Solomon, who is the co-founder and CEO of New York Stem Cell Foundation, a research institute promoting stem cell research. They are the parents of three sons: Adam, a composer for film and television in Los Angeles, known professionally as Tree Adams; Ben, an assistant managing editor at Time magazine in New York, and Alex, who works for the Bill Simmons Media Group in Los Angeles. He resides in New York City and in Amagansett, New York.

Professional and teaching experience[edit]

Professional experience[edit]

  • Consultant to board of trustees on architect selection process, Corcoran Gallery, 1998–1999
  • Special advisor to the director on planning and design, Ross School, 1998–2002
  • Consultant to the board of trustees on architect selection process, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, 2000–2001
  • Consultant to board of trustees on architect selection, Morgan Library, 1999–2000
  • Consultant on architect selection and planning for Allston campus, Harvard University, 2004–2005
  • Jury member, Rockefeller Foundation Jane Jacobs Medal, 2007–2009
  • Advisor to the jury, Driehaus Prize in Architecture, 2006 – present
  • Consultant to board of trustees on architect selection, New York Public Library, 2008–2009
  • Consultant to Glenstone Foundation on museum planning and architect selection, 2010 –
  • Consultant on planning and design, Cornell University, 2003 – present
  • Contributing writer, Architectural Digest, 1988–2001
  • Executive editor, Architectural Digest, 2000–2001
  • Contributing editor and design columnist, Metropolis, 2002–2004
  • Cultural news editor, The New York Times, 1990–1994
  • Chief cultural correspondent, The New York Times, 1994–1997
  • Architecture critic, The New York Times, 1973–1997
  • Architecture critic, The New Yorker, 1997 – present
  • Dean, Parsons The New School for Design, 2004–2006
  • Joseph Urban Chair of Design and Architecture, The New School, 2006 – present

Teaching experience[edit]

  • Yale University School of Architecture, 1987–1989; 1999
  • School of Journalism, University of California at Berkeley, Spring 2004
  • Parsons The New School for Design, 2006 – present

Honors, achievements, and awards[edit]

Academic honors[edit]

  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Honorary, Pratt Institute, 1992
  • Doctor of Fine Arts, Honorary, Center for Creative Studies, 1998
  • Doctor of Fine Arts, Honorary, New York School of Interior Design, 2000
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Honorary, University of Miami, 2004
  • Doctor of Fine Arts, Honorary, Kenyon College, 2005

Professional honors[edit]

  • AIA Medal, American Institute of Architects, 1981
  • Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, 1984
  • President’s Medal, Municipal Art Society, 1984
  • Medal of Honor, New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation, 1991
  • Literary Lion, New York Public Library, 1993
  • New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Preservation Achievement Award, 1996
  • Roger Starr Journalism Award, Citizens Housing and Planning Council, 1998
  • Edmond N. Bacon Prize, Ed Bacon Foundation (now under the Philadelphia Center for Architecture), 2007
  • Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication: Gene Burd Urban Journalism Award, 2009
  • Gold Medal, National Institute for the Social Sciences, 2012
  • Vincent Scully Prize, National Building Museum, 2012

Boards and organizations[edit]

  • Member, the Century Association
  • Honorary Member, American Institute of Architects
  • Trustee, Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, 1994–2004
  • Trustee, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, 2002–2007
  • Board of Directors, New York Stem Cell Foundation, 2005 – present
  • Board of Directors, Forum for Urban Design, 2008 – present
  • Trustee, Kenyon College, 2003 – present
  • Trustee, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2006 – present



  • Goldberger, Paul (1979). The City Observed, New York: A Guide to the Architecture of Manhattan. New York: Random House.
  • The Skyscraper, Knopf, 1981, ISBN 978-0-394-71586-5
  • On the Rise: Architecture and Design in a Post-Modern Age, Times Books, 1983, ISBN 978-0-14-007632-5
  • Houses of the Hamptons, Knopf, 1985, ISBN 978-0-394-54260-7
  • The World Trade Center Remembered, Abbeville Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0-7892-0764-7
  • Yale in New Haven: Architecture and Urbanism [with Catherine Lynn, Vincent Scully and Erik Vogt], Yale University, 2004, ISBN 978-0-9749565-0-3
  • Up from Zero: Politics, Architecture and the Rebuilding of New York, Random House, 2004, ISBN 978-0-8129-6795-1
  • Beyond the Dunes with Jake Rajs, Monacelli Press, 2008, ISBN 978-1-58093-203-5
  • The Modern Wing, Art Institute of Chicago, 2009, ISBN 978-0-300-14112-2
  • Building Up and Tearing Down: Reflections on the Age of Architecture, The Monacelli Press, 2009, ISBN 978-1-58093-264-6
  • Why Architecture Matters, Yale University Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0-300-14430-7.
  • Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Taschen, 2010, ISBN 978-3-8365-0664-9
  • Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 2015. ISBN 9780307701534. OCLC 913514521.
  • Ballpark: Baseball in the American City, Alfred A. Knopf, 2019, ISBN 978-0-307-70154-1.

Essays and reporting[edit]

  • Goldberger, Paul (February 1974). "Should anyone care about the 'New York Five'? ... or about their critics the 'Five on Five'?". Architectural Record. 155: 113–116.
  • “He’ll Take Manhattan” [review of Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas ], New York Review of Books, June 14, 1979
  • “Buildings and the City” in “Prophecy Reconsidered,” a special issue of Salmagundi on Lewis Mumford, Summer 1980
  • “The Limits of Urban Growth,” The New York Times Magazine, November 14, 1982
  • “The Strangling of a Resort,” The New York Times Magazine, September 4, 1983
  • “Shaping the Face of New York” in New York Unbound: The City and the Politics of the Future, Basil Blackwell,1988
  • “Why Design Can’t Transform Cities,” Architecture View column on social responsibility; Arts and Leisure section, The New York Times, November 13, 1988
  • Preface to new edition, Paul and Percival Goodman, Communitas, Columbia University Press, 1990
  • “25 Years of Unabashed Elitism,” Architecture View column on cultural implications of Ralph Lauren in Arts and Leisure section, The New York Times, February 2, 1992
  • “Berlin Must Look Like Berlin—But What Does That Mean?” The New York Times Magazine, February 5, 1995
  • “Houses as Art,” The New York Times Magazine, March 12, 1995
  • “On Vincent Scully,” Humanities, May–June 1995
  • “The Rise of the Private City” in Breaking Away: The Future of Cities, Twentieth Century Fund, 1996
  • “Breaking Away” [review of Studies in Techtonic Culture by Kenneth Frampton], The New York Times Book Review, March 10, 1996
  • “The Sameness of Things,” The New York Times Magazine, April 10, 1997
  • “Bringing Back Havana” [preservation in Havana], The New Yorker, January 26, 1998
  • “The Big Top” [Richard Rogers’ Millennium Dome], The New Yorker, April 13, 1998
  • “A Royal Defeat” [Prince Charles’s campaign against modern architecture], The New Yorker, July 13, 1998
  • “AD Motoring,” series of columns on automotive design, Architectural Digest, 1996–1999
  • “Detroit Tiger” [profile of automotive designer J Mays], The New Yorker, July 12, 1999
  • “James Gamble Rogers and the Design of Berkeley College,” in Berkeley: The Building of A College, Yale University, 1999
  • “Architect of Dreams,” Vanity Fair, June 2000
  • Foreword to The Essential William H. Whyte, Fordham University Press, 2000
  • “Matteo Pericoli,” in Manhattan Unfurled, Random House, 2001
  • Introductory essay, Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects, Monacelli Press, 2002
  • “Designing Downtown” [rebuilding Ground Zero] The New Yorker, January 6, 2003
  • “Eyes on the Prize” [Ground Zero design competition] The New Yorker, March 10, 2003
  • “Urban Warriors” [profile of Daniel and Nina Libeskind], The New Yorker, September 15, 2003
  • Introductory essay, Portraits of the New Architecture, Assouline, 2004
  • “Object Lessons,” monthly column on design, Metropolis, 2003–2004
  • “Farnsworth: The Lightness of Being,” Preservation, July–August 2004
  • Introductory essay, Gwathmey Siegel Apartments, Rizzoli, 2004
  • “The Triumph of Glass,” Metropolis, April 2006
  • “Uncommon Sense: Remembering Jane Jacobs,” The American Scholar, Autumn 2006
  • “Diller @ Gehry NYC,” Vanity Fair, June 2007
  • Catalogue essay, Frank Stella, Painting Into Architecture, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007
  • Introductory essay, Hugh Newell Jacobson, Architect, Rizzoli, 2007
  • “The Dance of Composition” in Richard Meier: Houses and Apartments, Rizzoli, 2007
  • “The Modernist Manifesto: Why Buildings From Our Recent Past Are In Peril, and Why Saving Them Is So Crucial,” Preservation, May–June 2008
  • “The King of Central Park West,” Vanity Fair, September 2008
  • “Daniel Libeskind in Conversation with Paul Goldberger,” in Counterpoint, Monacelli Press, 2008
  • “On the IAC Building,” in IAC, Georgetown Company, 2009
  • “On Michael Van Valkenburgh,” in Reconstructing Urban Landscapes: The Work of Michael Van Valkenburgh, Yale University Press, 2009
  • “Robert A.M. Stern and Paul Goldberger: A Conversation,” in Robert A.M. Stern 2004-2009, Monacelli Press, 2009
  • “New York in Postcards,” in New York in Postcards: the Andreas Adam Collection, Scheidigger & Speiss, 2010
  • “The Robie House: Embracing Modernism,” essay in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust/Marquand Books, 2010
  • — (Dec 2012). "Firestorm on Fifth Avenue". Vanity Fair. 628: 160–168. Retrieved 2015-10-09.

Selected film, TV, and media appearances[edit]

  • “Brooklyn Bridge” (interview and commentary in Ken Burns’ initial film documentary), 1981
  • “In Search of Clarity: The Architecture of Gwathmey Siegel” (interview and commentary in film on Charles Gwathmey), 1995
  • “Buckminster Fuller: Thinking Out Loud” (interview and commentary in film for PBS American Masters), 1996
  • “American Visions” (interview in Episode 6 of Robert Hughes PBS series on American art and architecture), 1997
  • “Frank Lloyd Wright” (interview and commentary as part of Ken Burns’ film on the life and work of Wright), 1998
  • “World Trade Center: Anatomy of the Collapse” (interview on Learning Channel documentary), 2002
  • “Building Big” (interview in PBS series on large structures), 2003
  • “New York: Episode 8” (interview and commentary for final segment of Ric Burns’ epic PBS documentary on New York), 2003
  • “Frontline: Sacred Ground” (interview for PBS project on rebuilding of Ground Zero), 2005
  • “Las Vegas: An Unconventional History” (interview and commentary, PBS film), 2005
  • “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo” (interview and commentary for PBS film), 2006
  • “e2: the Economics of Being Environmentally Conscious” (interview and commentary, PBS film), 2006
  • “Daniel Libeskind: The Making of an Architect” (interview), 2007
  • “Blueprint America: Road to the Future” (interview and commentary, PBS film on urban infrastructure), 2008
  • “Benjamin Latrobe, America’s First Architect” (on-camera host, co-writer of PBS hour-long film), 2009–2010
  • “Vincent Scully: An Artist Among Architects” (interview and commentary in film about the architectural historian Scully), 2010
  • “What Were You Thinking, Mr. Foster?” (interview and commentary in film about the career of Norman Foster), 2010


External links[edit]

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