John Lautner’s Sheats Goldstein Residence is Donated to LACMA
Architecture & Interiors
If ever there was a house born to be a movie star, John Lautner’s Sheats-Goldstein Residence qualifies. Incontestably glamorous, undeniably futuristic, Lautner’s 1961 masterpiece has all the right ingredients—dramatic angles, endless glass walls, breathtaking Los Angeles views—destined for starring roles in Hollywood films, most famously, the 1998 cult classic, The Big Lebowski. And now, more than half a century after its birth, it looks like Sheats-Goldstein Residence can look to an even brighter future, thanks to its owner James Goldstein, who revealed recently that he’s donating his storied house to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Architect John Lautner designed the Sheats-Goldstein house, located in the hills high above Los Angeles, for Helen and Paul Sheats, an artist and university professor, respectively, who commissioned Lautner’s services from 1961-1963. The house was subsequently purchased by entrepreneur Richard Goldstein, who has spent 35 years making adjustments and improvements to his famous house, many with the help of Lautner himself, prior to the architect’s death in 1994. Of the donation, the first architectural acquisition by LACMA, Goldstein said, “I decided now was the perfect time to announce that I will leave my house and its contents to the museum. Hopefully, my gift will serve as a catalyst to encourage others to do the same to preserve and keep alive Los Angeles’ architectural gems for future generations.”
A student of Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner’s Sheats-Goldstein house embodies the tenets of Wright’s Organic Architecture, in which the built form becomes an extension of the natural landscape. Lautner designed the house to emerge seamlessly from a sandstone hill, its poured concrete, steel and glass form opening up to its surroundings, and jutting out to embrace the panoramic views of the Los Angeles skyline. LACMA Director Michael Govan, not surprisingly, waxed enthusiastic: “Great architecture is as powerful an inspiration as any artwork, and LACMA is honored to care for, maintain, and preserve this house, as well as to enhance access to this great resource for architecture students, scholars, and the public.”
Via Arch Daily