Goldstein office finds a home

Goldstein Office:

Update: The Goldstein office has been accepted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It will be installed as a working office in LACMA West, the historic May Co. building.

Read below for the history. Start at the bottom.

view application for monument status

photographs by Alan Weinstein, arcaid

UPDATE: Message from the Vice-President of the JLF

The John Lautner Foundation received wonderful news just prior to Thanksgiving. The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission voted unanimously to extend Historic-Cultural Monument status to the Goldstein Office, effectively saving it from imminent destruction. In the final hearing, with considerable time devoted to the pros and cons of preserving this rare office space in a high-rise, the Commission (after voting) requested James Goldstein to stand and be acknowledged for commissioning John Lautner and building the office.

photograph of interior
Our efforts to preserve the Goldstein Office, though quite involved and complex, were fruitful. The Lautner Foundation involved the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission by submitting for Monument status, which will protect a threatened cultural monument for up to one year, after which the owner of the building can have the issue re-addressed. While this approach to preserving buildings or space buys time, it needs support not only from the Commission but finally from the City Council, especially the Councilmember whose district it is in.We did not have this needed support due to the unique nature of this Lautner project: its being an interior office space introduced new issues and hurdles for its preservation. So when the Foundation’s proposal of incorporating the office intact into the redesign of the building’s 20th floor for a single tenant was rejected by the new tenant and the building owner, an intense period of rethinking and negotiation ensued.

The building owner at 10100 Santa Monica Boulevard ultimately proposed sponsoring the careful dismantling of the 850 square foot office suite and storing it safely until next May. We have begun the process of finding a new location for the office, hopefully where the public can readily visit this unique office environment and be exposed to John Lautner’s genius.

The disassembly and restoration concept was embodied in the Commission’s decision, which now moves on for final adoption by the Los Angeles City Council.

Although we do not foresee any problems with the Council’s adoption of Historic-Cultural status, we encourage your attendance and support. It will be an exciting moment at Wednesday’s meeting when the Council votes on the motion to include the Goldstein office on the City’s Historic-Cultural Monuments list. With the Goldstein Office a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, additional clout accrues to our project of finding a new home for it.

Here are the times and locations for the final hearings next week:

1. Hearing at PLUM (Planning Land Use Management committee.)
December 13th, Tuesday 1:00pm
Room 350, City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles.

2. Hearing at Los Angeles City Council
December 14th,
Wednesday 10:00am
Room 340, City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles.

The Foundation would like to take this opportunity to thank all involved in the effort to preserve the Goldstein Office. We direct special thanks to James Goldstein who commissioned and built this great architectural work which has now been saved from being destroyed.

We look forward to seeing some of you at the upcoming hearings.

Thank you for your past and future support.

Best regards,

Christopher Carr
Vice President


Date: September 8, 2005
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Christopher Carr (323) 668-2225

City of Los Angeles Cultural-Heritage Commission takes Architect John Lautner’s Goldstein Office in Century City under consideration for City Cultural-Heritage Monument status at Wednesday, September 7, 2005 Hearing.

The 850 square foot office space John Lautner designed for James Goldstein on the 20th Floor of the 10100 Santa Monica Blvd. building is the only remaining pristine commercial work designed by Lautner. The Commission will tour the site and make a final decision regarding monument status in October.

Goldstein’s lease expires at the end of September, and the law firm of Loeb & Loeb plans to gut the entire floor in preparing to add the floor to their existing three floors within the building. The challenge is for Loeb & Loeb and the building owner to incorporate the culturally significant space as a conference room on that floor.

It is essential to preserve the work of one of America’s great architects, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, who, using Wright’s principals of organic architecture, established his own powerful expressive architecture integrating nature, space, according to Duncan Nicholson, spokesperson for The John Lautner Foundation.

Author Michael Webb, after visiting the office, said, “I know and love the best of Lautner’s architecture and this is a signature work in impeccable condition. The rectangular box is completely transformed by a folded roof plane of wood, and folded wall planes of brushed copper, glass and black slate. It’s a unique habitable sculpture.”

The John Lautner Foundation, in filing the application for city Cultural-Heritage Monument status, will continue to try to educate the new tenant and building owners of the importance of keeping intact this work of John Lautner’s, a masterpiece of the 20th Century, rather then destroying it.

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