Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a blog entry about architect John Lautner's Sheats-Goldstein Residence. This week, NPR reported that longtime owner James Goldstein has just announced his intention to leave the entire estate - including the iconic home and its contents - to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
According to another piece in the L.A. Times, Goldstein purchased the four-acre Beverly Crest property in the early 1970s for a mere $185,000. Today it is conservatively valued at around $40 million. While inflation certainly accounts for some of the rise in value, it really has more to do with the ongoing improvements that Goldstein has made (and continues to make) over the years - a few of which he points out in the video below.
In a statement to U.K. based Independent, Goldstein remarked, "Los Angeles should represent a city that's contemporary and moving into the future ... I want people to build houses in a way that hasn't been done before that are moving into the future instead of the past, so I hope my house is an inspiration for that kind."
The gift is also certainly a means of protecting the house for future generations to enjoy. I'm sure Goldstein is well aware of the fate of that circular house from The Fast And The Furious - which used to exist just a few doors down the hill from his. Designed by one of John Lautner's contemporaries, architect David Fowler, that home was known as "Ridgetop" for the promontory it was sited upon. Sadly, it was purchased and razed entirely in 2002. As an architect and an art lover, I'm pleased to see that James Goldstein has more sensitivity and foresight than that.