Building Up and Tearing Down: Reflections on the Age of Architecture
by Paul Goldberger
The Monacelli Press, September 30th, 2009
Building Up and Tearing Down collects for the first time Paul Goldberger’s acclaimed essays on architecture from The New Yorker, where he became architecture critic in 1997, taking over the Sky Line column formerly written by Lewis Mumford and later by Brendan Gill. In more than fifty pieces, Building Up and Tearing Down traces a period in which larger-than-life buildings, sometimes designed by larger-than-life architects, have shared the spotlight with historic preservation battles and ambitious urban schemes. These essays, written by the critic Tracy Kidder called “America’s foremost interpreter of public architecture,” range from a discussion of Norman Foster, who Goldberger calls “the Mozart of modernism,” to Philip Johnson, whose proposed towers for Times Square Goldberger described as “a rather monstrous matched set, at once frilly and grotesquely large, like elephants in tutus.” Building Up and Tearing Down is witty, insightful, and passionate.