Archives for March 2016

March 28, 2016 - No Comments!

High Above Beverly Hills, LACMA Fetes the Goldstein House

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It was a house party — as in, a party for an actual house. On Wednesday night, an art crowd shuttled up the hill and down the driveway of the famous Sheats Goldstein residence in Beverly Hills, the midcentury masterwork recently bequeathed to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “I’ve been working for 10 years trying to figure out who to give the house to,” said its colorful owner, James F. Goldstein, a 70-something real estate developer and basketball and fashion enthusiast with a nearly all-leather wardrobe — cowboy hats, too. “I’m happy it’s going to someone local.”

Designed in 1961 by the architect John Lautner, the house is one of Los Angeles’s most beloved landmarks: it served as a backdrop for films (“The Big Lebowski,” “Charlie’s Angels”), countless fashion shoots (Vanity Fair, Vogue, Dior) and splashy parties (Rihanna’s 27th birthday). Goldstein bought the residence in 1972, working with Lautner and others to renovate it over the years, adding a rooftop tennis court next door and his own nightclub underneath, the appropriately titled Club James.

With concrete angles and hidden, retractable glass walls, the indoor-outdoor Space Age bachelor pad is “a sci-fi nerd’s wet dream,” as the “Veep” actor Reid Scott, who toured the residence for the first time, put it. Or an accident waiting to happen. You can fall in the koi pond beneath the walkway into the living room (and people have), wander off the edge of the master bedroom floor that extends like a ship’s bow into the Los Angeles skyline or stumble on the walkway to the James Turrell skyspace in the lush jungle landscape on the four-acre property.

“A child has never entered this house, except maybe on a leash,” joked the singer Kim Gordon, tiptoeing around the beautifully treacherous pool. (In fact, the house was originally built for Paul and Helen Sheats — and their three children.) The expansive view encompasses the entire city, stretching from downtown to the Pacific Ocean. “You go through this low space, then you have a little of the outdoor, the sound of water compressed, then you go through a glass door and the whole thing like a piano lid opens up to Los Angeles,” said LACMA director Michael Govan, describing the experience of walking into the house. “It’s all designed around that particular view, and there’s no better version of that view in Los Angeles. It’s an archetype.”

The promised gift also extends to the property inside, including art works by Ed Ruscha and Kenny Scharf, and Goldstein’s sizable collection of studded and bedazzled jackets by Saint Laurent, Balmain, Moschino, Jean Paul Gaultier and more, collected over 40 years and countless fashion seasons, and stored in a closet fitted with a dry cleaner-style conveyor. (Goldstein is a regular on the runway show circuit, where he always seems to score a coveted front row seat at the last minute, as well as courtside at basketball games.)

But the party isn’t over yet. Until Goldstein’s death, “the idea is to keep operating the house the same way,” he said, estimating that he has roughly 200 shoots and events per year, some of them quite rowdy. “It only takes one neighbor to complain, and the police are compelled to come. Sometimes they are apologetic.”

March 28, 2016 - No Comments!

Fashion Fixture James Goldstein to Leave John Lautner House to LACMA

 

James Goldstein is seen during a tour of the John Lautner-designed home, being donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) by fashion and basketball aficionado James Goldstein February 16, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. / AFP / David McNew        (Photo credit should read DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images)

James Goldstein is seen during a tour of the John Lautner-designed home, being donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) by fashion and basketball aficionado James Goldstein February 16, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. / AFP / David McNew (Photo credit should read DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images)

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“What have I done for a living? That seems to be the crux of what everybody wants to know,” laughs James Goldstein as he stands in the bedroom of his iconic John Lautner-designed home in Beverly Crest, just above Beverly Hills. This time, the descriptor rings true — the plate glass windows and cantilevered concrete pool deck are recognizable from numerous contemporary movies and fashion ad campaigns. Last month, Goldstein, who’s nearly as familiar as his home due to his regular courtside seat at L.A. Lakers games and perch at Paris Fashion Week parties, revealed that he’ll be donating his spectacular estate to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Tonight, LACMA will celebrate the gift with a party there.

The eccentric Goldstein, who is never seen without his signature custom-made python hats and exotic leather jackets, has long been a fixture among fashion folk — though few know his story. “I’ve acquired this reputation as being the mystery man, which I get quite a kick out of, but it hasn’t been anything intentional. I just have fun with it.” He continues, “I’m really not that secretive about myself. If people ask the right questions, I’m open to answering them.”

His famous home, which has appeared in films such as “The Big Lebowski” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” has also played host to many private parties and photo shoots over the years since he purchased it in 1972. The space features a lush tropical garden, tennis court (Maria Sharapova shot her last ad for Tag Heuer here; that image now hangs in the balance with her contract), entertainment complex and — most notably — a James Turrell skyspace.

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In addition to the property, Goldstein will be donating the home’s contents, which include an iconic 1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, various works of art by Ed Ruscha, DeWain Valentine, Bernar Venet and Kenny Scharf, and his entire wardrobe, including custom-made hats and hundreds of jackets from designers like Balmainand Jean Paul Gaultier.

“I think my house is certainly one big part of my legacy, but when it comes to fashion, I’d like to be known as someone who isn’t afraid to try something different,” he says while opening his expansive, mechanical, rotating closet reminiscent of the one featured in “Clueless.” “I try to get a new wardrobe every fashion season….I recently built another closet the same size as this — also with a rotating track because I ran out of room in this one for all my new clothes.”

James Goldstein's python Roberto Cavalli suit.

Due to his elaborate collection, Goldstein also has a piece — a python Roberto Cavallisuit — featured in LACMA’s upcoming “Reigning Men” exhibit, which opens April 10. “It was beautifully crafted and certainly a special piece, but I feel that they could have done 75 percent of the show out of my own closet,” says Goldstein, whose love of fashion led to the launch of his own women’s wear line, James Goldstein Couture, in 2013. “I’m hopeful that some day — especially now with my close association with LACMA — that they will do a show just of my clothing. I think it would be very successful.”

LACMA chief executive officer and Wallis Annenberg director Michael Govan says he couldn’t be happier about the endowment. “When Jim was thinking about how he was going to keep this alive, he came to me and said, ‘Would you be interested in taking care of the house?’” Govan explained, while noting that this is a new area of collection for the museum and will include the maintenance and preservation of Goldstein’s landmark home, which will eventually be open to the public. “That was about three years ago, so we began a long conversation about how we would do it and what was important to him.”

As for how exactly the Wisconsin-born social figure acquired such wealth, Goldstein shrugs off the question, “I’ve made some investments in California. There’s nothing too interesting or exciting about how I’ve earned money to be able to do the things that I enjoy. It’s pretty routine. There’s thousands of other people doing the same thing.”

James Goldstein's John Lautner-designed home.

March 07, 2016 - No Comments!

This House Is A Work Of Art, So The Owner Is Donating It To A Museum

From www.npr.org

James Goldstein has just announced that he will donate his landmark Los Angeles residence — designed by architect John Lautner --€” to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Minimal is the word ... " he says. "Everything is simple and at the same time beautiful."

James Goldstein has just announced that he will donate his landmark Los Angeles residence — designed by architect John Lautner --€” to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Minimal is the word ... " he says. "Everything is simple and at the same time beautiful."

Jeff Green/LACMA

One of the most dramatic homes in Los Angeles has just been donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Designed in 1961 by John Lautner — an influential Southern California architect — the glass and concrete house clings to the side of a canyon. Its present owner, James Goldstein, has been revising and perfecting it for 35 years.

Goldstein — who has his own fashion line — poses in front of his home.

Goldstein — who has his own fashion line — poses in front of his home.

Danny Hajek/NPR

Goldstein — a property investor and basketball superfan — is as striking as his home. On the day of my visit he meets me in a leather cowboy hat, tight black leather pants with rows of horizontal zippers up each leg, high black boots, a blue leather jacket and a jaunty scarf around his neck. ("I'm very involved in fashion," he tells me.)

To arrive at his house, I've driven up a steep hill, and down a very steep driveway. Los Angeles has its share of stunning modernist homes, but even picky architects salute this one. (Movie-makers, too — you might recognize it from The Big Lebowski or Charlie's Angels.)

High up in a house that's mostly made of glass, you get a bird's-eye, panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, Fox studios and downtown Los Angeles. The view is so bird's-eye, in fact, that actual birds sometimes fly inside.

"Most birds find their way out quite easily without my help," Goldstein says. "But the exception is the hummingbird — I have to assist the hummingbirds."

Nestled into the side of a canyon, Goldstein's house looks out over downtown Los Angeles and beyond.

Nestled into the side of a canyon, Goldstein's house looks out over downtown Los Angeles and beyond.

Jeff Green/LACMA

Goldstein's glass walls have almost invisible seams that open and shut at the push of a button. This was not part of architect Lautner's original plan.

"Actually, when the house was first built, there was no glass at all," Goldstein says. There were no walls of any kind in the living room — a device blew warm air into the room when it was chilly, but it didn't work all that well.

After Goldstein bought the house in 1972, he covered its four acres with a tropical jungle. His staff includes four gardeners, two assistants, a pool technician and a housekeeper. No chef, though.

Goldstein's master bathroom features a glass sink with no faucets. A hidden spout offers water with the wave of a hand and drains outside the window.

Courtesy of Barry Milofsky

"My specialty is cooking turkeys," he says. "I also do a lot of take-out."

The kitchen, like most of the rooms, has a retractable skylight. Meshing outside and inside was a Lautner signature. Before the architect died in 1994, he and Goldstein worked together to fill the house with surprises: The wooden ceiling opens to let down a huge TV. There's a glass sink with no faucets — a hidden spout offers water with the wave of a hand.

Goldstein says he loves living in this spare, uncluttered, elegant home. "Minimal is the word," he says. "I've kept that word in my mind on everything I've done. That's one of the Lautner concepts which is very important. ... Everything is concealed. Everything is simple and at the same time beautiful."

Lautner was an avant garde innovator who had studied and worked with an American master.

"Lautner learned a lot from [Frank] Lloyd Wright — not the least of which was his love of experimentation," explains Trudi Sandmeier of the USC School of Architecture. "But Lautner took it to the next level. He pushed it further."

And, teaming up with Goldstein, he pushed it some more. Goldstein remembers sending Lautner ideas — "and within two days he would be giving me maybe four sketches of alternate ways that he would like to implement my idea," Goldstein says.

Integrating indoor and outdoor space was one of John Lautner's signatures.

Integrating indoor and outdoor space was one of John Lautner's signatures.

Tom Ferguson Photography/LACMA

Over the years, Goldstein has put in a tennis court and a nightclub (Club James, of course), and he has plans for a theater on the property. He entertains a lot; Rihanna's 27th birthday party — Jay Z, Mick Jagger and Leonardo DiCaprio were all in attendance — was held here.

Hosting parties like that, you have to have the right outfit. Not a problem for Mr. Goldstein.

"I have a very important men's fashion collection," he says. (In fact, he even has his own fashion line.) His closet is full of fabulous spangled and studded jackets. With the push of a button, the clothes rack will revolve — just like at the dry cleaner.

At 70-something, with shoulder-length white hair, Goldstein — who made his fortune in California real estate — leads a playboy life. He attends more than 100 NBA games every year. "I'm known as the No. 1 NBA fan, he says."

Standing by the pool where clothing-challenged Pamela Anderson once posed for a shoot, he's living out a childhood dream.

"I remember building projects in the sand in Miami Beach and everyone coming by and saying, 'You're going to be an architect someday,' " he says.

And he's come close. Design is important in all of his involvements, and he says he doesn't plan to stop working on his masterpiece of a home.

The furniture is custom-designed to fit the angles and design of the home. "Every detail has been worked on," Goldstein says, "including where the stitching of the leather is."

The furniture is custom-designed to fit the angles and design of the home. "Every detail has been worked on," Goldstein says, "including where the stitching of the leather is."

Tom Ferguson Photography/LACMA

"Every day, I think about little details of what's going on now, what I'm going to do," he says.

In a city with stellar modern residential architecture, and people monied enough to afford it, James Goldstein and architect John Lautner have created a house of wonders.

March 07, 2016 - No Comments!

‘THE BIG LEBOWSKI’ HOUSE: OF STEWARDSHIP AND SOIREES

from www.thehollywoodreporter.com

 

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Sheats-Goldstein House, master bedroom.
Jordan Riefe

James Goldstein recalls Jack Nicholson directing traffic with a cocktail in his hand outside the notorious party house that he donated to LACMA.

Now that businessman James Goldstein has donated his iconic mid-century cliff-side aerie, the Sheats-Goldstein House, to LACMA, regular folk will finally get a look at the tony residence where Rihanna celebrated her birthday, Mark Ronson and Jamie xx held their pre-Grammy party, NBA great Stephen Curry hung out for a whole day after the commercial he was shooting wrapped and, yes, where the Dude kicked back with a white Russian, courtesy of pornographer Jackie Treehorn in The Big Lebowski.

A house acquires a legacy like this for two reasons — one, Sheats-Goldstein is a landmark structure that has served as a magnet for architects since John Lautner built it in 1963, and two, Goldstein is a guy who likes to share.

“No patron, no project,” LACMA CEO Michael Govan told gathered press Feb. 19 of the donation worth an estimated $40 million, with Goldstein — in his trademark snakeskin hat and leather ensemble — lurking nearby. “Without the patron, artists cannot work.”

Goldstein, who reportedly made his fortune in real estate investments, had no trouble finding work for Lautner. He first hired the architect in 1979, employing him off and on up until his death in 1994. Adjustments to the Beverly Crest home included replacing formica-and-plywood cabinets in the living room, and dispensing with steel mullions that crisscrossed the view from the living room.

Having trained with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin, Lautner oversaw construction of some of Wright’s most famous residences, including the George Sturges House in Brentwood, which failed to find a buyer at a Feb. 21 auction.

Though hardly an example of Wright’s Usonian concepts, the Sheats-Goldstein House exercises many pervading ideas of its time, working harmoniously with the cliff face, barely discernible from the landscape even when you’re right on top of it. Moving through the interior one experiences a subtle flow of indoors and outdoors, with receding skylights in the kitchen and dining area for meals under the stars.

Though hardly an example of Wright’s Usonian concepts, the Sheats-Goldstein House exercises many pervading ideas of its time, working harmoniously with the cliff face, barely discernible from the landscape even when you’re right on top of it. Moving through the interior one experiences a subtle flow of indoors and outdoors, with receding skylights in the kitchen and dining area for meals under the stars.

livingroom

Lautner’s work from the same period includes the space-age Chemosphere House overlooking the San Fernando Valley, as well as the Garcia House, another cliff-side dwelling currently owned by John McIlwee of entertainment management firm Shephard McIlwee and Tingloff. After acquiring it in 2002, McIlwee and his partner, DreamWorks executive Bill Damaschke, put $1 million into restoring the unique Hollywood Hills home often called “The Rainbow House” for its arcing parabolic roof and red and blue stained-glass windows.

In 1992, WGA President Howard Rodman and Anne Friedberg purchased Lautner’s Zahn House and hired the architect to renovate the 1957 structure. Rodman, McIlwee and Goldstein come from a tradition of industry professionals who have become reliable stewards for classic homes. An institution like LACMA could not afford to accept Goldstein's donation of the house without $17 million preservation endowment that comes with it. Maintenance is always an issue, even if the building is mostly made of concrete, like Sheats-Goldstein.

“I have a cantilevered glass terrace down below the house,” the owner told The Hollywood Reporter about the one time he regretted opening his home to a photo shoot. “A model was posing on the terrace with a bottle of perfume and she dropped it, causing the glass to crack. It took $75,000 expenditure to restore it to the way it was.”

With so much traffic in the house, there’s bound to be damage, which is why he built an alternative party space, Club James, across the driveway. Designed by Lautner protege Duncan Nicholson, it features offices, a meeting room and a private nightclub with spectacular views.

Now in his 70s, Goldstein is happy to host parties at Club James, even when he’s not attending, whether it be for architects and curators from the Iconic Houses Conference, which had its Feb. 19 closing night fete there, or for Hollywood VIPs. “I can tell you about a party I had many years ago that Jack Nicholson attended,” he recalls of the days before Club James. “A couple blocks away from my house there was a huge traffic jam with people trying to get to the party, and Nicholson got out of the car and directed traffic with a drink in his hand.”

 

These days, Club James helps keep the partying more sensible. An infinity lap pool and entertainment center are currently under construction, and on the roof is an infinity tennis court adjacent to the site of a planned guesthouse to replace the original one by Lautner, torn down long ago. Despite the changes surrounding the house (dressing rooms for film and photo shoots were added to the entranceway), few alterations have been done to the actual structure without Lautner’s involvement. “I’ve always aimed for the aesthetics more than the effect,” offers Goldstein. "Hopefully I was able to achieve both of them together."

At LACMA, Govan is overjoyed at the donation, which includes an art collection with works by Ed Ruscha, Kenny Scharf and a skyscape installation by light-and-space sculptor, James Turrell. Tours will be available by appointment on a limited basis for as long as Goldstein resides there.

“As he said, 'If you give a paintings to a museum, why shouldn’t you give a house to a museum?'” Govan said, recalling Goldstein's words to him as he stood silhouetted by the breathtaking view. “Thirty-five years so far, working on the house, and more to come.”

JORDAN RIEFE

March 07, 2016 - No Comments!

How LACMA Got a House (Yes, a House). And the Quirky Donor Behind It

From www.insidephilanthropy.com

Last year, I wrote about a big bequest at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) from media mogul and billionaire Jerry Perenchio, who announced that he would donate most of his massive art collection—valued at some $500 million—to the museum upon his death.

Bequests, of course, are very common in the art world, and I remarked at the time that the gift would be a big boon for LACMA, which over the years has lost several significant art bids (knocking on wood, here). Well, now comes news of another big win by the museum. LACMA recently announced that real estate investor James F. Goldstein promised his home, its contents, and surrounding estate to LACMA upon his passing.

This is the first gift of architecture bestowed on the museum, and includes an endowment for the maintenance and preservation of the home, which by the way, has strong historic roots. The James Goldstein House was originally built in 1963 for Helen and Paul Sheats by architect John Lautner. The late architect was a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright and prominent in Los Angeles. One of Lautner's techniques was blurring the line between indoor and outdoor space, with an emphasis on transparency.

Goldstein purchased the residence in the early 1970s and enlisted Lautner and later the architect's protege to revamp the residence. The house was featured in the Coen Brothers' 1998 film The Big Lebowski. According to the Los Angeles Times, the value of the endowment is estimated to be $17 million, while the value of the entire bequest is some $40 million. Goldstein, though, calls that figure "conservative." The property even features a skyspace installation by James Turrell, as well as artwork by the likes of Ed Ruscha and Kenny Scharf.

Sheesh. A big win for LACMA indeed.

Let's talk a bit more about the donor here, and how he and the museum got in sync.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, James Goldstein came to sunny California to attend Stanford. He got into real estate investment and reportedly made a billion-dollar fortune developing Century City in Los Angeles. It's unclear how much he's currently worth, but there's a lot unclear about Goldstein, who these days carries business cards that read "fashion, architecture, basketball." Goldstein reportedly goes to four or five NBA games a week in Los Angeles, and is on the road or on airplanes every day during the playoffs. Former NBA Commissioner David Stern called Goldstein the “largest investor in NBA tickets in the world."

As for the fashion and architecture bit, the flamboyantly dressed Goldstein frequents fashion events around the world, and has long been involved with his house. It's worth mentioning that Frank Lloyd Wright hailed from Wisconsin, too, and a good friend of Goldstein's growing up lived in a Wright-designed house. Goldstein recalls researching John Lautner before purchasing the home. As for LACMA, Goldstein explains that after interfacing with museum CEO Michael Govan, he was convinced that Govan appreciated "the history of the house and the role it has played in the cultural life of Los Angeles," and was sold on his "vision for continuing that tradition when the house becomes an important part of LACMA's collections."

Herein lies a key insight: When museums can inspire donors to feel that they share a similar vision, these kinds of big gifts can happen. Goldstein, interesting character aside, clearly has a passion for art and the creative world, and has been a steward of an historic residence. LACMA convinced Goldstein that they shared his enthusiasm.

By the way, former "homeless billionaire" Nicolas Berggruen is another interesting figure who may be prime for a big gift to LACMA in the coming years.

March 07, 2016 - No Comments!

Inside the modernist LA home donated to a museum

From- Realestate.com.au
With its unique glass windows and cement couch, the Lautner house which featured in The Big Lebowski and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle is a modernist masterpiece that has now been donated to a museum.

Designed by architect John Lautner the house was built in 1963 and current owner James Goldstein has donated the house to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Fans of the cult Coen brothers film will recognise the house as home to porn merchant Jackie Treehorn in The Big Lebowski.

Goldstein Lautner house. Picture: VHF STUDIO

The exterior of the house. Picture: VHF STUDIO

The donation includes a $US17 million endowment which will go towards the upkeep of the property.

There will be limited tours of the house and grounds while Goldstein is still living, with the house bequeathed to the museum.

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The decision was based on Goldstein’s desire to inspire up and coming architects.

“I want the house to be an educational tool for young architects, and I want to inspire good architecture for Los Angeles,” Goldstein told The Los Angeles Times.

The view from the Goldstein Lautner house. Picture: VHF STUDIO

The view from the house as seen above the concrete couch.  Picture: VHF STUDIO

Goldstein purchased the property in 1972 for $US185,000 and has altered it with the help of Lautner and his associates. The minimalist concrete, glass and wooden furniture along with the frameless glass are just some of the alterations that have been made by Goldstein.

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The home, which has its own nightclub, has hosted many soirees including Rihanna’s 27th birthday party where Jay Z, Leonardo DiCaprio and Mick Jagger partied the night away.

The nightclub at the house. Picture: VHF STUDIO

The nightclub at the house.  Picture: Kristin Fliehler

The five-bedroom house sits above Beverly Hills and is famous for its coffered ceiling living room and unique design.

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It sits on a 1.6ha block, made up of land Goldstein has acquired from properties bordering his own over many years.

The garden at the Lautner house. Picture: VHF STUDIO

Goldstein insisted on a tropical garden for the house.  Picture: VHF STUDIO

The Lautner house is considered an icon of post-war American architecture and its modernist vision makes it “one of the most important houses in all of LA,” according to the museum’s director Michael Govan.

Goldstein Lautner house. Picture: VHF STUDIO

The house is considered an icon of post-war minimalist design. Picture:VHF STUDIO

Lautner is famous for his space age designs which have also featured in films such as Diamonds are ForeverLess Than ZeroLethal Weapon 2 andBody Double.

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