Owner of 'Big Lebowski’ house hopes to inspire with LA museum gift

Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:39pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The owner of a luxury house featured most notably in the 1998 film comedy "The Big Lebowski," is donating it to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with the hope that people will build more architecturally creative homes.

James Goldstein, owner of the Sheats Goldstein residence nestled in the Los Angeles hills, has promised to leave the unique building, along with its gardens, art pieces and his fashion collection, to the museum so that it will one day be open to the public.

"Los Angeles should represent a city that's contemporary and moving into the future," Goldstein told Reuters in an interview. Goldstein does not give his age but has been reported to be in his 70s.

"I want people to build houses in a way that haven'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 house was featured prominently in "The Big Lebowski," the Coen brothers' surreal stoner film, when Jeff Bridges' character, The Dude, finds himself at the house of sleazy pornographer Jackie Treehorn.

The residence, with its sweeping vistas of the Los Angeles skyline and coast, represents a quintessential Hollywood party house with low-slung couches and a well-lit pool snuggled into a corner where the roof, speckled with hundreds of skylights, curves into the ground.

Goldstein's art collection includes works by Ed Ruscha and Kenny Scharf. In an adjoining building, the owner has created "Club James," most recently the venue for a private post-Grammy Awards party, with a bar and seating carved into the concrete floors.

The property also includes a "Skyspace" light installation by artist James Turrell within the tropical gardens.   Continued...

A foggy view of Downtown Los Angeles is seen from the James Goldstein residence, which was designed by modernist architect John Lautner, during a media event in Los Angeles, California February 17, 2016. REUTERS/Piya Sinha-Roy