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March 8, 2016

Scene and Heard: James Goldstein


Photo Credit: Tom Ferguson

Editors' Notes

The James Goldstein House, designed by John Lautner.

Photo Credit: Tom Ferguson

Editors' Notes

The James Goldstein House, designed by John Lautner.

Photo Credit: Tom Ferguson

Editors' Notes

The James Goldstein House, designed by John Lautner.

Photo Credit: Jeff Green

Editors' Notes

The James Goldstein House, designed by John Lautner.

Photo Credit: Jeff Green

Editors' Notes

The James Goldstein House, designed by John Lautner.

Photo Credit: Alex Crawford & Articles of Style

Editors' Notes

James Goldstein at his John Lautner-designed house.

“John never made a suggestion, but as soon as I came up with an idea, he had three alternatives for me to choose from,” says James Goldstein about reworking portions of the his residence, built in 1963, with the structure’s original architect, John Lautner. Goldstein, discussing the Beverly Crest house—originally commissioned by Helen and Paul Sheats—that he bought in 1972, announced that he’ll leave the structure and surrounding gardens to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The gift includes a James Turrell Skyspace built amid tropical gardens, works by artists including Ed Ruscha, Kenny Scharf, and DeWain Valentine, and a 1961 Silver Cloud Rolls Royce. “For me it was a simple decision,” says Goldstein, a businessman who is also a basketball and fashion enthusiast, about the gift. “I wanted to leave the house for architects in the future and for people in Los Angeles to see the possibilities of contemporary architecture.” Goldstein notes that the house has almost no 90-degree angles, explaining that Lautner was opposed to “box-like” design. Wood, concrete and glass make up the majority of the structure and the house contains almost no paint as Lautner favored natural materials. Goldstein recalls that the hillside gardens were only element on the property that caused the two men to disagree. “We both come from the Midwest to California. Lautner was from Michigan and I’m from Wisconsin. He wanted the pine trees that grow in the Midwest, but I was trying to get away from there so I chose tropical plants.”

By Elizabeth Varnell

Pictured: The James Goldstein House, designed by John Lautner.
Photo by Tom Ferguson

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Photo Credit: Tom Ferguson
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