Paul Goldberger, the longtime architecture critic for The New Yorker, is leaving the magazine—but he isn’t done with architecture criticism, and he isn’t quitting Condé Nast. Goldberger will still report to 4 Times Square, but he will serve as a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, another Condé Nast imprint. There, he’ll serve as architecture critic but also write on other topics, including urban planning and design.
In a note to colleagues, Goldberger said that he’d be contributing first to the magazine’s website in the near future. Print features would come later. Goldberger is currently working on a biography of Frank Gehry, FAIA, for Alfred A. Knopf.
In The New York Observer, Matt Chaban notes that Goldberger has now held two of the most prominent posts in design journalism, having served as the heir to both Ada Louise Huxtable (at The New York Times) and to Lewis Mumford (at The New Yorker).
Chaban figures that Goldberger is choosing the devil he doesn’t know over the one he does. Goldberger tells Chaban that David Remnick, The New Yorker’s editor, has mixed feelings about running an architecture column in the magazine—an all-too-familiar attitude at newspapers and general-interest publications across the nation. There is no current indication that The New Yorker intends to replace Goldberger.
Goldberger’s move almost certainly has to increase the amount of published writing he produces; his last print piece for The New Yorker ran in May 2011. That piece was a story on the NV200, the Nissan automobile commissioned by New York City to replace the Ford Crown Victoria as New York’s taxi cab—a story somewhat loosely tied to a 1976 exhibit on taxi design by Emilio Ambasz, architect and then–design curator for the Museum of Modern Art.
If Goldberger’s work for Vanity Fair to date is any evidence, the assignment may take him even further afield from the built environment: Two of the six stories he’s written for the magazine have focused on fashion designer Ralph Lauren.