If you had millions of dollars to toss around, what would you do with it? Would you fund a worthy cause, start a school, or help a startup? We would all like to think we'd do something worthwhile with our money, but odds are, we'd probably do what millionaire Jimmy Goldstein has done for the last couple decades. We'd party. In Jimmy Goldstein's case, he found a way to party with a whole lot of people multiple times over the course of the year. Jimmy Goldstein is an NBA "superfan". With a net worth of $100 million, he can afford to follow his favorite sport around the country, and he does. He spends upwards of $500,000 per year on floor tickets, plane tickets to the games, and celebratory after-parties. When he's not sitting court side, he's buying and selling trailer parks and commercial real estate. He's very good at his job, and has become quite wealthy brokering some of the biggest real estate deals in Southern California. However, there is one property that he has held on to for himself, for decades – the famed Sheats Goldstein Residence. It only takes a quick tour of the 4,500 square foot mansion, to understand why the notorious party boy and NBA lover chose to keep this one for himself.
The Sheats Goldstein Residence was designed between 1961 and 1963, and construction began in 1963. Created by award-winning architect John Lautner, the residence was built for Helen and Paul Sheats and their five children. The design is one of the most well-known and celebrated examples of American Organic Architecture. The home was designed from the inside out, and the exterior structure is built directly into the surrounding landscape in such a way that it is an extension of the environment around the home. Rather than leveling the surrounding rocks and vegetation, a practice that is common in most building projects, Lautner absorbed the landscape into the design itself, solving any structural issues through architectural adaptations as he went along. The result is a truly striking and one-of-a-kind home. The house has five bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, and a living room that opens out onto a large terrace. When the home was first constructed, the living room and the outdoor terrace were only separated by forced air. There was no actual wall. The original structure also feature windows that looked directly into the pool behind the house. It allowed Mrs. Sheats to keep an eye on her children in the pool, while she worked in her studio, which was below ground level.
The Sheats eventually moved on and two other people subsequently owned the home. Eventually it was left empty and began to decay. Jimmy Goldstein purchased it in 1972, with the goal of restoring and improving it. He re-hired John Lautner to expand on the original design, and over the course of the next 20 years, they did their best to make the house as perfect as they could. Renovations have continued, despite the fact that Lautner passed away in 1994. The home has been featured in multiple films, including "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" and "The Big Lebowski".
In addition to the home itself, there is also an art installation that on sits on the hill just below the structure, designed by James Turrell. The installation, called "Above Horizon", was commissioned by Jimmy Goldstein. It was meant to be a collaboration between Lautner and Turrell, but Lautner passed away before the installation was fully underway. "Above Horizon" features a room with portals and a concrete lounge. Every evening, the room turns into a mind-boggling sky and light show, created by thousands of LED lights.
So Jimmy Goldstein has pretty clearly answered the question of what he would do with millions of dollars. He does it fairly regularly. He buys NBA tickets and amazing properties. While it isn't exactly humanitarian aid, restoring the Sheats Goldstein Residence is a pretty awesome venture. It's preserving a piece of America's architectural legacy that is one-of-a-kind and quite spectacular. He may be the most outlandish NBA "superfan" around, but there's no denying that Jimmy Goldstein has got great taste in real estate.
Sheats-Goldstein House Gallery: