​Big Lebowski House: James Goldstein Donates Iconic House To LACMA

Big Lebowski House
Author: Jennifer HongBy:
Staff Reporter
Feb. 20, 2016

The Big Lebowski House gets donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The house is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, and was donated to the museum by its namesake from James Goldstein, according to The Guardian.

James Goldstein is a fashion devotee and NBA fan who’s been said to have made his fortune through real estate. The house was designed by John Lautner, a Frank Lloyd Wright protege, and has been featured in music videos, fashion shoots, and several movies, including Charlie’s Angels, though it’s probably best known for its role as the home of pornographer and loan shark Jackie Treehorn in The Big Lebowski.

Big Lebowski house donated to LACMA by James Goldstein

Though he refuses to disclose his age, some guess Goldstein is likely in his mid- to late seventies. The donation will go into effect after his passing and will include both the home as well as its contents, including his fashion collection, art collection, and 1961 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.

Goldstein bought the Big Lebowski house in 1972 for $185,000. LACMA now values it at $40 million, a conservative estimate according to its owner.

When Michael Govan took over as the museum director 10 years ago, he expressed interest in procuring Los Angeles architectural landmarks. This will be LACMA’s first.

After meeting with Govan several times, Goldstein said he was “very impressed with his appreciation for the history of the house and the role it has played in the cultural life of Los Angeles, as well as with his vision for continuing that tradition.”

Govan describes the Big Lebowski house as “an exceptional example of domestic architecture and a tremendous legacy.” The museum will utilize the space for events and as a resource for architectural students, and Goldstein hopes his donation will “encourage others to do the same and keep alive Los Angeles’s architectural gems for future generations.”

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