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Marc Goldstein (b. 1935)

Dates of Interview:

February-March, 2008

Location of Interview:

Goldstein residence, San Francisco, CA


Suzanne Riess

Length of Transcript:

266 pages
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Biographical Summary

Marc Goldstein was born March 1, 1935, in New York City and earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture at Yale University. After studying in Italy under Bruno Zevi, he joined the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in 1961, working on many notable buildings including the Bank of America Headquarters; the Beckman Conference Center of the National Academies, Irvine, CA; and the Arya Mehr Sports Complex in Tehran, Iran. He also worked on several planning projects, including California Tomorrow and the San Antonio River Corridor Study. Mr. Goldstein received the American Institute of Architects San Francisco Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession, 2003. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. After retiring as partner from SOM in 1991, Mr. Goldstein taught several years at the California College of Arts and Crafts. He continues to live in the San Francisco area.

Interview Highlights

Goldstein speaks about the influence of his professor Louis Kahn; joining the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Bank of America headquarters and other SOM projects primarily on the West Coast; the importance of the California Tomorrow Plan; SOM colleagues and office environment; teaching at the California College of Arts and Crafts after retirement; and his family.

345 California Center; San Francisco, California; 1985
Photo by Jane Lidz

Bank of America World Headquarters; San Francisco, California; 1969
Photo by Roger Sturtevant

Interview Excerpt

"I think that architecture is time consuming…architecture is extremely intensive…It does consume an enormous amount of energy, and rightfully so. I think that it's something you can get passionate about. And one wonderful thing about architects is that they do tend to be passionate people- not about money, you know, but about what they're doing. It's lovely. It's a great profession." (p. 23)

" the final analysis, I think of myself more as a craftsman than as a poet. I would like to have been a poet, but I don't know that I really ever achieved that. I think I was a good craftsman, and that I knew how to put together rather well-working buildings, which were reasonable pleasing to the eye, pleasing to be in, and that's what my career was all about." (p. 234)

Beckman Conference Center; Irvine California; 1988
Photo by Paul Bielenberg
Copyright, Paul Bielenberg

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel; Kamuela Bay, Hawaii; 1965
Photo by R. Wenkam

Funding for this oral history was provided by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP.