James Goldstein cover for Showbiz
James Goldstein cover for Showbiz | Foto:

James Goldstein Ultimate Bachelor Living Los Angeles

Por: Karen Limón

1, December, 2021 en Showbiz

James Goldstein, an international man of mystery, living high in the tree tops, gazing down at the Los Angeles skyline. James is known for many things, from his seemingly permanent floor seats at NBA games, to his flashy sequence couture fashion, to creating an incredible architectural feat alongside John Lautner. He continues to reside in the work of art that is his home, continuously building and creating more of the magic…now unable to travel during the pandemic. We ask him how he is adapting to these uncertain times.

James, thank you for allowing us into your amazing home. Where are you from originally?


And what brought you out to Los Angeles?

I went to Stanford university for my undergraduate work and while I was there my roommate invited me to his home in Los Angeles, and I was taken by Los Angeles and decided I would go to graduate school at UCLA, mainly to try out Los Angeles. And I decided to stay here.

What did you study?

I started out studying math and physics at Stanford and then ended up in economics. And then went to the UCLA business school and got my masters degree in finance.

James Goldstein photo for Showbiz
James Goldstein photo for Showbiz

That’s very impressive! Can you us about the new addition you’ve been adding on to your home?

When I bought the main house, there was another house at the bottom of my driveway, which was also designed by John Lautner. But it wasn’t anywhere near the quality of this house. It was not made of concrete, for example. It just didn’t compare to this house. But other people were living in that house. We shared the driveway. We got along and it didn’t occur to me when I bought this house that eventually I would have the opportunity to buy that one as well.

After many years had gone by, the house was offered to me and I realized that having the entire property at the bottom of my driveway would be advantageous. I wasn’t sure at first what I wanted to do with it, but I discussed it with John Lautner. I always wanted to have my own tennis court because I’ve been a tennis player all my life and I recognized that that property would provide the perfect place for a tennis court. John Lautner was all in favor of the idea. He wasn’t proud of his architectural effort for that house. I thick he was happy that I might be tearing it down, even though in subsequent years some architectural critics have been upset that I tore it down, I think John Lautner was pleased. So i don’t have any guilt about it. And I tore the house down with the idea of just building a tennis court and guest house.

But then, when the house was cleared away and John Lautner was no longer alive, I was working with his previous assistant, Duncan Nicholson, and we started out just designing the tennis court and guest house but then I started thinking of other things that I might like to have, such as an office here, rather than commuting to Century City every day. Even though I had a spectacular office in Century City, designed by John Lautner. But having the office right here next to my house sounded very appealing. So Duncan and I started tinkering with plans to put an office under the tennis court. And then discussion came up regarding the Lautner archives, because the Lautner family was in possession of very important valuable archives and they discussed with me the possibility of building a room to store those archives. And so, then I started thinking about a room next to my office, underneath the tennis court. Meanwhile, I had always wanted to build my own night club.I had been planning on building it on the hillside, on the opposite side of my house, but that involved acquiring another parcel of land and I knew the tennis court and office would take a lot of time. I wash;t sure if and when I could acquire the parcel of land, so Duncan and I started thinking in terms of adding a small bar room, so to speak, next to the office and Lautner archives.

So all of this just kept evolving. We started construction with the idea of tennis court with guest house above the tennis court, and the office, archives and small bar room below the tennis court. While the construction commenced, which I played a big part in collaborating the design with Duncan, the floor of the office and so fourth had been poured with pilons supporting it and a very steep hillside below. It was almost inaccessible to walk down below, but one day I decided to do it. I was standing underneath the floor of the office and so fourth, and thinking to myself, this would make a great terrace. So, another element was added to the plan. And so, thats how it all went, the bar room was expanded. Eventually plans for a movie theater were added and the project has been going on for 15 years!

Now the tennis court level, the office/nightclub level, and the terrace level have been virtually completed and I’m ready to move on to the next phase, which will be the theater.

James Goldstein finales NBA baloncesto
James Goldstein

Wow! That’s incredible! The NBA is starting back up soon in the Orlando bubble. Are you excited? Cautiously optimistic? What are your thoughts on the NBA return?

First of all, from a personal standpoint I feel very shut out by not being able to attend. I have averaged 35 playoff games per year for the last 25 years.

But from a basketball purist standpoint, I don’t like it because too much time has gone by since the shut down of the regular season and about 75% of the season was played. I feel that it was all for nothing because it’s like the NBA is starting all over again, without any home court advantage. So the records of the first 60 games of the season have become almost meaningless.

And I feel that rosters have changed, some players are sitting it out, and it completely separated out from the first 60 games of the season. Whoever wins the playoffs in this Orlando setting is not going to get the recognition of a true champion. I would have preferred that they just forget this season and move on to the future.

Since you are such a mainstay at NBA games and playoff games, how do you plan to watch when games resume?

First of all, I don’t think they will allow me to attend the games in Orlando. If I were invited to attend, I would have to face numerous tests, being confined to a hotel for two months in Disnet World…which I’m not very fond of. And although the games would be enjoyable, I’m not sure I could put up with what I would have to endure the rest of the time.

What are your finals predictions for this year?

Its impossible to make predictions right now, because the its like the season is starting all over again, in very strange circumstances. I’m not sure which players are going to test positive and not being able to play and I don’t know what the match ups are going to be in the tournament. So, I don’t have any predictions to make.

Can you tell us about what you have planned as far as your fashion endeavors go?

I have no plans. I’m not even allowed to travel to Europe. Europe is not allowing any Americans and I don’t know if the fall fashion shows will happen. But even if they do, the way things are going in the US, could be a long time before American can go there. So, after attending all of Paris and Milan fashion shows for the last 30 years or so, I’m suddenly shut out of not only basketball but also fashion.

James Goldstein and Amalie Wichmann
James Goldstein and Amalie Wichmann

What other projects or habits have you been doing in the meanwhile.

I really have been working on the details of the future theater as well as some minor components of the theater, which have not been completed. Along with the pool, which unfortunately I’m suffering from some mistakes made by the pool contractor. I’ve just hired a new pool contractor and actually work resumes today on the pool!

Great! How are you staying fit during quarantine?

Normally every July I’m in San Tropez doing a tremendous amount of walking on the beach, in the town, from the hotel up on the hill down to the port back and fourth several times a day. I always get in tremendous shape in San Tropez, dancing every night, completely different life than I have in Los Angeles. But for the past four months, I’ve been confined to my house and trying to play tennis almost every day, which has pretty much kept me in shape.

I know in previous articles about you, it has remained a mystery how you’ve come upon your fortune. Can you tell us about that?

I don’t like to discuss my business matters because I don’t think what I’ve done in the business world is very interesting or unusual. I see my business accomplishments as a means to do the things I enjoy and I think I’ve made some unusual accomplishments in the architectural world, the fashion world, the basketball world, so those are the things that I like to talk about and those are the things that I think would be most of interest to the people reading this interview.

Are you dating anyone?

Yes, I’ve had a long term involvement and somewhat of an open relationship with a beautiful woman who lives in Moscow. Unfortunately because of whats going on in the world right now, Russians are not allowed to come to the US. I’m not sure if Americans are allowed to go to Russia. But both countries are suffering badly because of the virus. So, we have not seen each other for a long time.

Sorry to hear that. What would be your favorite part about living in your home?

I don’t know that I have a favorite part. Its tremendously gratifying for me to look at the architecture and design of both the house and club James creation along with all the beautiful landscaping, with the knowledge that so much of it has been achieved since I bought this house and started working on it in the late 70’s and I’m still going. Its been my life’s work, so to speak, so every day when I walk around the property I get tremendous satisfaction out of looking at what I’ve done.

You should be proud, its stunning.

Photos Courtesy by Mr James Goldstein