First REAL THING tour a success!

FIRST. What is this “REAL THING”, you ask? It’s a Facebook Group that is affiliated with the official John Lautner Foundation (JLF) Facebook Page.  The JLF Page is for announcements and the sharing of articles and other matters of interest to Lautner fans. The REAL THING Group is a way for all of us to share our stories, our thoughts, our ideas with each other rather than with the whole world.

John Lautner: THE REAL THING was started by Robin Poirier, builder of several Lautner projects and one of the few contractors to go toward Lautner rather than run the other way.  Rather than be cowed by the obvious difficulty in constructing one-of-a-kind projects, Poirier embraced them.

As part of his continuing interest in all things Lautner, Robin started the group over a year ago. Through the year he shared dozens of stories of his own as well as little-known facts and rarely-seen photographs. As his sharing increased so did the number of persons joining the group. As the first anniversary of the group approached, he had a brilliant idea: host a tour of a Lautner building to celebrate.

Photo by Julie Dieringer

SECOND. Here is Robin’s story.

It was Alison Martino’s VINTAGE LOS ANGELES FB page and Steven Price’s FB page that got me interested in making a John Lautner FB group. I enjoyed both of their postings very much, and enjoyed responding to their posts, especially if they were about something I had a passion for, or knew about.

Photo by Jennifer Scantland

Through her and Steven Price’s FB pages, I became FB friends with other like-minded people who loved Lautner, and they also had their own FB pages for their endeavors. I woke up July 26, 2017, got up, got out of bed, and John Lautner was in my head. I sat down, I had a cup of coffee, and had a smoke, someone spoke, and I went into a dream, and I just started typing, and John Lautner: THE REAL THING was born.

Photo by Jennifer Scantland

All through the year, I posted pictures, stories of interest, events, happenings, anything I found interesting that was John Lautner -related, and the response from the growing membership was positive, so more, more, more! Billy Idol style! And the little Lautner FB group grew from a handful to almost 600 members now. It is not as read as VINTAGE LOS ANGELES, but it is growing in popularity.

Photo by Greg Braun

As a gift to the membership for our 1-year anniversary, I devised, planned, and got all the pieces in place to host a John Lautner:THE REAL THING Tour of the Sheats Goldstein mega complex. The first person I contacted, who got on board was James Perry. He was CRUCIAL: without him, it probably would have gone nowhere. But, as James is The Man, he loved the idea, and we were rolling. Next, I told Chris Carr what was up, got his blessing as representative of the Foundation, and then it was approach Roberta Leighton, the El Supremo of all things Goldstein. She liked it, and we had a Tour. El Fantastico! The following is the recap of the July 28th tour.

Photo by Brent Kendle

On July 28th, we, the members of John Lautner: THE REAL THING FaceBook Group, were treated to the ultimate one-year anniversary of THE REAL THING on FaceBook: A tour of the magnificent Sheats-Goldstein complex. There were so many people who wanted to attend, we had to split the 100 plus people into two separate tours of two groups each. Many others still did not make the cut: we are sorry; we could not accommodate everyone.

Photo by Greg Braun.
Photo by Brent Kendle’s group

The Tour Docents were Roberta Leighton, general manager of the Sheats Goldstein enterprises, and James Perry, current Architect in charge of the entire Goldstein project. We had an 11 AM and a 1 PM Tour. At both Tours, we split into 2 groups and explored the vast Goldstein home and Tennis pavilion complex. WOW was the look on every single person’s face. On each tour, after the viewing of the buildings, we all met up in the Club James nightclub for a chill out Q and A and discussion about the home and John Lautner with James Perry, Alan Hess, Chris Carr, and Harry Ernst, special guest and master builder of all the concrete work at the Goldstein, as well as myself RP. We all took turns speaking on various subjects. I spoke on how I met John Lautner, and how important an event that was to my life. We all had a very good time.

As the tours both ended, I shook hands and said goodbye to all the members as they left, and they all had such huge smiles and all were filled with a pure genuine joy, and they all thanked me for the FB group, and the one-year anniversary tour. When it was over and we were all saying goodbye to all the staff, Alan Hess, Chris Carr, and I went over to the statue of the Chief in the front entry of the Goldstein and took selfies with the Chief. We were all happy, and I think the Chief was also. It felt like he was with us, enjoying our aftermath with us. All three of us commented in awe of the happiness and joy factor the Chief’s Architecture brings out in people. We saw it up close and right there. 100 per cent Lautner Love. It does not get any better than that.

What house will be our gift for the secibd anniversary THE REAL THING Tour? Stay tuned to THE REAL THING to find out!

Thank you to REAL THING tour members for the photographs that accompany this article.  In the interest of time, we selected only a few,  but will add new photos to the article and to the REAL THING group in the days to come.

To join the Facebook Group go to REAL THING. Click on “join”. One of the members will review and approve or deny your membership.