Obviously someone with a lot to prove, this guy feeds on the poor just like a good Trumpian daddy might.Dates the younger girls and worships only himself. Except for the architecture portion of this article, this would have been dismissed. But I love architecture and how building learn. When day this building will learn him what he needs to know. Kind of creepy…
James Goldstein, the city’s most unapologetic 80-year-old bon vivant (and Lakers fixture), throws parties with models and Leonardo DiCaprio as he rushes to finish his architectural legacy: “The villains always live in the modern houses.”
A thousand people raged until 4 a.m. at 80-year-old James Goldstein’s Halloween party last year. Two days later, the singular host — who straddles the spheres of entertainment, style, sports, art and architecture like no one else in Los Angeles — bumped into Leonardo DiCaprio at LACMA’s Art + Film Gala.
“I said, ‘I wanted to invite you, but I didn’t have your number,’ ” Goldstein recalls. “He says, ‘I was there, wearing a mask.’ It turns out Jamie Foxx was there too, in some unrecognizable costume.” Conspicuously not in attendance was Goldstein’s Beverly Crest neighbor Sandra Bullock, whom he had invited. Based on the history of their relationship, Goldstein theorizes she may have been responsible for calling the cops with a noise complaint, though, “I can’t say with any proof.”
Frizzy-haired and springy-stepped, in head-to-toe designer leather — or, when at home, brightly contrasting tennis gear — Goldstein is the poster octogenarian of a certain kind of man, one whom some find admirable and others repellent. A real-estate investor, he puts his net worth “in the ballpark” of $100 million. More consequential is what that fortune allows: the freedom to cultivate what once would’ve been referred to as insouciance, and is now, among the young and fashionable crowd he surrounds himself with, an IDGAF philosophy. Case in point, he spends most nights courtside at the Staples Center in his trademark peacocking attire, often with a date young enough to be his granddaughter.
It’s a weekday and, as he has since the ’70s in what may just be the city’s longest-running act of property-tinkering, he tends to his world-famous dwelling, the Sheats-Goldstein Residence, designed by heralded midcentury architect John Lautner and considered a modernist masterpiece (though most famous for its appearance in 1998’s The Big Lebowski). There are, as ever, contractors to hound and blueprints to review, especially as he seeks to finally complete an adjacent Lautner-esque entertaining complex he began about 15 years ago. To do so, Goldstein knocked down an actual Lautner that stood on the lot. Preservationists blanched. Goldstein says the architect, who died in 1994, gave him his blessing.
Built in phases, the top floor of the complex features a tennis court with an infinity edge. Below is a European-style discotheque he’s dubbed Club James. Its first bash was a surprise birthday he hosted for Rihanna in 2015. On the ground floor is a soon-to-be-completed ultra-narrow lap pool. “When I had this pool designed, the style wasn’t very common,” he sighs. “By the time I’m finished, all these $30 million spec houses had them.”