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Building Up and Tearing Down: Reflections on the Age of Architecture Hardcover – October 13, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The Monacelli Press (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580932649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580932646
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #739,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Goldberger's seemingly-effortless prose takes us through the frenzy of the building boom to the burst of the housing bubble, from Dubai to Chicago, and every starchitect-crossed destination in between." —FastCompany

"Paul's greatest contribution is his writing about cities. How architecture hits the pavement, how projects relate to their surroundings, how physical change affects how we feel about places is his genius." —Kent Barwick, President of the Municipal Art Society of New York

"[Paul Goldberger is] a great journalist whose writing has been invaluable in promoting a deeper and more intelligent understanding of urbanism, city making and sustainable urban development." —Darren Walker, Rockefeller Foundation

"[Paul Goldberger's criticism is] at once elevated and street smart, able to convey sweeping cultural meaning yet precise in its description of architectural detail." —Blair Kamin, architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune

About the Author

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Paul Goldberger started his career at the New York Times and is currently the architecture critic for The New Yorker magazine. He is a frequent contributor to books on architecture and the author most recently of Up from Zero: Politics, Architecture, and the Rebuilding of New York and Counterpoint: Daniel Libeskind in Conversation with Paul Goldberger.

More About the Author

Paul Goldberger

Paul Goldberger is the Architecture Critic for The New Yorker, where since 1997 he has written the magazine's celebrated "Sky Line" column. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in New York City. He was formerly Dean of the Parsons school of design, a division of The New School. 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.

He is the author of several books, most recently "Why Architecture Matters," published by Yale University Press in 2009 and "Building Up and Tearing Down: Reflections on the Age of Architecture," published by Monacelli Press, also in 2009. In 2008 he published Beyond the Dunes: A Portrait of the Hamptons, which he produced in association with the photographer Jake Rajs. His chronicle of the process of rebuilding Ground Zero, entitled UP FROM ZERO: Politics, Architecture, and the Rebuilding of New York was published by Random House in the fall of 2004, and brought out in a new, updated paperback edition in 2005. UP FROM ZERO 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.

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, and is now at work on 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, and is a trustee of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio; the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C.; the Forum for Urban Design, and the New York Stem Cell Foundation. He is married to Susan Solomon, and they are the parents of three sons: Adam, a composer for film and television in Los Angeles; Ben, journalist who is now the Chicago Editor of the Huffington Post, and Alex, recently graduated from Yale and now on the staff of the sports department at NBC. He resides in New York City and in East Hampton, New York.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pierre Gauthier on March 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is a collection of articles written by Paul Goldberger and published in the New Yorker and Metropolis magazines between 1997 and 2009. This makes for very short, eminently readable chapters. They are not grouped chronologically but thematically : People and Places, Museums, Buildings that Matter, etc.

Though not groundbreaking, this provides an enthralling critical overview of architectural production, exhibitions and books over that period, not only in New York City but throughout America and around the world.

The author is very respectful of his sources and generally soft-spoken, though far from colourless. On certain subjects, such as the Westin Hotel on 42nd Street, he is actually quite vehement.

True to the New Yorker tradition, illustrations are not this book's strongpoint and, regrettably, at most one black and white photograph is provided for each chapter.

Overall, this book is strongly recommended to architecture and urban aficionados. For more detailed information on New York City's development in recent decades, one may wish to refer to the massive «New York 2000», where Mr. Goldberger is deservedly much quoted.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joong Won Lee on January 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a collection of Paul Goldberger's "New Yorker" and "Metropoilis" writings.

The essays cover a wide range of architectural and urban issuess.
Current publication is organized in thematic sections:

1. Buildings that Matter
2. Places and People
3. New York
4. Present and Past
5. Museums
6. Ways of Living

Over 50 essays, he wrote about NY, architecture, architects, museums, cities, and design.
Some writings are on new buildings by star architects, some on passed architects (Eames & Kahn),
some on luxury apartment in NY.

He zooms in for us to acknowledge what kind of strokes architect
used in his details to achieve particular effect. He zooms out for us to see the setting
and it's impact on the public. His microscopic and telescopic analysis skills also extends
to invisible state of architectural imagination and creativity.

Anyone can experience a building and like it.
But, good writings can double the experience, Goldberger's writings are like that.

His writings on Kahn can be sublimely profound, his writings on luxury condos can be sarcastically
witty. His writings on Robert Moses of NY and Burnham of Chicago explains why Paul is Paul.
History is resuscitated with present glamour. His thoughts on "white brick (glass)" overflows with

I was touring west coast -SF, LA, Seattle- when I read this book (I bought my copy in Borders,
4th Avenue, near Seattle Center). I couldn't agree more of his writings on De Young, Getty Villa,
Disney, Moneo's Church, and Rem's library. Each architects' strengths are well organized and
Read more ›
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