James Goldstein is a real "only in LA" type of whale--he dresses like a technicolor cowboy and hangs with models, is a fixture at Lakers games, probably made his money in trailer parks, and for 40 years has been taking care of and making interesting (and sensitive!) updates to the mindblowing Sheats-Goldstein House in Beverly Crest. The house was designed by John Lautner and originally built in 1963 for a doctor/artist couple and their family; Goldstein bought the house in 1972 and, in 1980, began work with Lautner on a major renovation. The house is now an incredible maze of concrete and glass and leather (take a full tour here) and it is definitely not kid-friendly anymore. Somewhere along the way, Goldstein got addicted to the tinkering--after Lautner died in 1994, he began working with Duncan Nicholson (who worked in Lautner's office) and they're now in the middle of building a three-level entertainment complex on a neighboring lot (which once held a less significant Lautner house): Goldstein says he "love[s] the creative process" and that it's "more important to me than enjoying" what he builds.
Still, he'll probably enjoy this: the new building has a tennis court (already completed) and will eventually also include offices and "Club James," an entertaining space that sounds like it's going to be bananas--it'll have retractable frameless glass walls; a library/VIP room; elaborate lighting systems; floor-to-ceiling TVs on the exterior of the bathrooms; outdoor bar, kitchen, and dining area; and: a terrace running the length of the building that will have no railings, just a lap pool lining its perimeter. (The complex will only be open just for parties, it won't be a nightly thing.) The tennis court is already in use (Goldstein plays almost every day) and the rest should be open in another two years or so.
He's also adding a guesthouse on the ridge above the tennis court (where Lautner had originally planned for one), and a two-story theater between the driveway and the tennis court that'll hold 25 steeply-pitched seats.
And, just FYI, the house sits on about four landscaped acres and Goldstein employes four permanent gardeners to take care of it all. His landscape architect visits weekly.
· Inside John Lautner's Dangerous Sheats-Goldstein House [Curbed LA]