GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD
BRINGING BACK THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD
The Hollywood Reporter
By Denise Abbott
The Claridge, a building established in the “Golden Age” of Hollywood for individuals with artistic and creative endeavors in the Arts, is only one of the many Art Deco buildings Dave Goldstein has restored in the Hollywood area. While others are tearing down old historical buildings and replacing them with new modern condominiums, “The Art Deco Man” takes pride in restoring old buildings to their original character. “It has become my passion,” he says.
Mr. Goldstein is very picky when it comes to choosing which buildings to buy and restore. He finds treasures where others see nothing unusual. He is both shocked and delighted with the popularity of these Art Deco buildings. Recently he went to one of his buildings on Sycamore only to find thirty-four people, yes that is right, thirty-four people, waiting to see one of the apartments for rent. In his typical unorthodox fashion, he lined people up to go in groups of four at a time to look at the unique apartment. It is like people are addicted to living in these buildings. He heard one of the people in line say, “What… is he giving this apartment away for free?”
Dave has found that most of his tenants are in the entertainment industry or have just moved here from New York. They seem to really appreciate all of the charming touches and the uniqueness of his buildings. For many, it just feels like home. The love all the architectural features—the hardwood floors, French bay leaded glass windows, high ceilings, antique lighting, wood carved fireplaces, formal dining rooms, Murphy beds, art deco tiled kitchens and bathrooms, romantic courtyards, and the security they get behind ornate wrought iron gates.
Everyone of Mr. Goldstein’s 1920s and 1930s buildings is very special to him. When asked which one is his favorite, he hesitated for awhile, then answered, “They’re like my children, I love them all—each of them is special in its own way. I love my buildings on Sycamore in Hancock Park because the tenants are so special and the first building I restored was on Sycamore. Another of my favorites is the one Ronald Reagan lived in when he was an actor, on Londonderry in Sunset Plaza. I love how it is on its own private street and has a private gated entrance. It is really a beautiful elegant building with huge penthouses overlooking the city, and it has a quaint private courtyard with a lovely fountain. The New Orleans style building in the Hollywood Hills is my most ambitious project. It has a rooftop swimming pool overlooking all of Hollywood that is incredible. I love all the different styles, the Italian Villa, the French Normandy, the Mediterranean, the English Tudors. They are all great in their own unique ways.”
When asked why he spends so much of his time and money on these buildings and the individual apartment units when he could easily rent them without restoring them, Mr. Goldstein looked at me as if I was crazy or just asked a very stupid question and said, “I see my work as a cross between a director and a set designer trying to create that perfect look, that perfect feel. You know, I just had an artist paint an entire mural on the back of one of my buildings on Sycamore, so that when the tenants walk out of the building to get into their cars they feel they are truly in Italy enjoying the Italian landscape. My tenants really appreciate all the time and effort that goes into the restorations. I believe that when people are happy where they live, it brings out the creative side in them, and it nourishes their soul.”