The Golgi complex is characterized by its unique morphology of closely apposed flattened cisternae that persists despite the large quantity of lipids and proteins that transit bidirectionally. Whether such a structure is maintained through endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-based recycling and auto-organization or whether it depends on a permanent Golgi structure is strongly debated. To further study Golgi maintenance in interphase cells, we developed a method allowing for a drug-free inactivation of Golgi dynamics and function in living cells. After Golgi inactivation, a new Golgi-like structure, containing only certain Golgi markers and newly synthesized cargoes, was produced. However, this structure did not acquire a normal Golgi architecture and was unable to ensure a normal trafficking activity. This suggests an integrative model for Golgi maintenance in interphase where the ER is able to autonomously produce Golgi-like structures that need pre-existing Golgi complexes to be organized as morphologically normal and active Golgi elements.