Greg Goldin, coauthor of the forthcoming book Never Built Los Angeles, is a curator at the A+D Museum. From 1999 to 2012, he was the architecture critic at Los Angeles Magazine. Before moderating a panel discussion, “Who Will Design Tomorrow’s Los Angeles?”, at a Zócalo/Getty Center event on architecture, he was cornered in Zócalo’s green room, where he answered questions on breakfast, architecture eradication, and covetousness.
If you could steal one piece of public architecture from another city and have it be part of L.A.’s skyline instead, what would it be?
I think I would the Norman Foster bridge at Millau that crosses the Tarn [in France]. Besides being an engineering feat, it’s a work of art.
What was your breakfast today?
My breakfast today was shredded wheat with raisins.
If the work of any architect had to be eradicated, whose work would it be?
I think I have to say the work of Robert Venturi. Don’t ask why. It’s not an easy question.
What L.A. site do you take all out-of-town visitors to?
It’s a site that doesn’t exist anymore. I used to take people to the Pacific Design Center in the original building on Melrose. You used to be able to hug the building, face forward, look straight up, and because the top floor tilts out at 45 degrees, the glass surface reflected the entire city. So it was a black and blue mirror of the city of L.A. And it was ruined by the vandal who owns that place now, because he put klieg lights on it.
What are you like behind the wheel?
What is the best thing about the 405 Freeway?
What’s the most stressful part of being a curator?
The last four weeks of putting the show up. But only other people who do that would understand. I would otherwise say to myself, “Huh?” The first two years are easy. The last two weeks are murder.
What Los Angeles residence do you covet?
I think I would have to say the Tischler House. It’s one of [Rudolf Michael] Schindler’s last houses. But I may have to withdraw that answer. This is too tough. I might prefer a Quonset hut instead.
What household pets, if any, do you have?
What’s the most unfair thing that gets said about L.A.?
Can’t we leave it at nine questions?