The Goldstein Residence is truly an architectural wonder that sets the tone of all that’s Hollywood and quintessentially L.A. MC speaks to James Goldstein who gives us an insight into his home and how this living icon is built to last.
The Goldstein Residence, also known as the Sheats-Goldstein Residence is a house designed and built in the Sixties by American architect John Lautner in Beverly Crest, Los Angeles, California. It was originally built as a family home but has since become a star in itself with appearances in movies such as Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and The Big Lebowski. Ever the LA go-to set for the rich and famous, even Snoop Dogg and Pharrell have laid claim on it in the video Let’s Get Blown. The residence went through one other owner before being bought by the tycoon James Goldstein in 1972. When Goldstein purchased the house he commissioned John Lautner to get to work again and the two worked on what they called ‘perfecting’ the house for over 15 years. James Goldstein tells us how the residence has transformed over the years.
How did your vision coincide with that of the architect John Lautner?
John Lautner and I worked together on the house in 1979 until his death in 1994 (15 years). It was a terrific relationship between the two of us in regard to upgrading the house to its true potential. We both thought along the same lines. I had a background in studying Frank Lloyd (Wright) designs and John worked for Frank Lloyd. We’re both from the mid-West and we got along quite well. It was interesting that John never came to me with suggestions with what should be done. He always wanted to hear from me first. The process of building something, big or small, sometimes took several years because both of us wanted it to be perfect.
What are your favourite features of your home now and do you intend to make further improvements?
The Entertainment Annexe has been under construction for almost 10 years. It comprises a tennis court on the top level with a complete glass view of the city of LA. On the second level there is Club James which is my own personal night club along with my offices and a room that is used as a combination of library and VIP room. The project is still not complete although it’s pretty far along. The bottom level comprises a huge outside terrace with an infinity lap pool, a covered dining room, covered kitchen and covered bar.
The home really just needs some minor tuning from time to time. But in addition to the house as it now exists there is a plan for the future which will add guest bedroom quarters to the level below the dining room and will provide living quarters for whoever is looking after the house when I am no longer around.
What are some of the most memorable moments and people you have welcomed into your home?
I only need to refer back about a month (February 2015) to a party I think will remain as one of the top parties for this residence surprise birthday party for Rihanna. The party was held in Club James and was one of the first parties to be held there. Mick Jagger was there and everybody had a great time. There was never any doubt about the success of that party.
However, one of the most memorable anecdotes that comes to mind is one that happened over 10 years ago and Jack Nicholson was one of the guests at a party. It turned out that there was another party in the neighbourhood at the same time and the result was a very bad traffic jam in order to get to my house. Luckily, Jack Nicholson got out of his car with a drink in his hand and directed traffic to come to my party!