Jack Goldstein, 74, of Cold Spring, died June 16 of a heart attack.
According to a biography posted on the website of his business, JLG Art & Antiques, Goldstein was raised in a military family at Washington, D.C., and made frequent forays to New York City, where his grandmother lived. He attended Blair Academy, the University of California at Berkeley and George Washington University.
He moved to New York City following the demolition of the historic Helen Hayes and Morosco Theaters in 1982 and began his professional career as executive director of Save the Theaters, where he led a campaign to landmark 27 Broadway theaters.
“The theater community can be fractious — between the unions, producers, and everyone else, there are all sorts of interests and expectations,” Goldstein told The Current in 2014. “There’s an onstage need to be collaborative, but it can be combative backstage. That process involved not just landmark designation of Broadway theaters, but a development of real estate mechanisms which benefited the theaters and also made them commercially viable as buildings.”
After the battle was over, Gerry Schoenfeld, the chairman of the Shubert Organization, offered Goldstein a job — a testament to his integrity, honesty and competence, a friend said. Goldstein later became executive director of the Theater Development Fund, where he organized an international design competition for the iconic red stairs of the TKTS booth in Times Square.
During his lifetime, Goldstein continuously studied, collected and traded art and antiques. His first shop was a seasonal storefront in Rehoboth, Delaware. He had a specific interest in what fine examples of humble objects said about the time, culture and people that produced them and recently had launched a blog, Why This?, that examined some of the objects (jlgantiques.com/blogs/why-this). He had a unique eye for value — historical, artistic, cultural and monetary — and was a trusted and knowledgeable collector and advisor.
Goldstein moved to Cold Spring in 2007, where he loved tooling around the Hudson Valley in his green Subaru looking for hidden gems. At one point, he had selling spaces at three locations (Bijou Gallery, Downtown Gallery and Once Upon a Time). He said in 2014 that he looked for “quality in workmanship and design,” describing his collection as “eclectic and identifiable. From my perspective, whether it’s a keychain, a bronze or a piece of porcelain, I try to find the best example that I can so whoever buys can be sure to be getting the best they can.”
He was active in civic affairs, chairing the Planning Board and Code Update Committee, although he resigned both positions after disputes with the board or mayor. He also served on the board of the Cold Spring Chamber of Commerce for many years.
Goldstein said in 2014 that he missed “the intellectual stimulation, the being at the center of things” of his former life in New York City. “It was rewarding to see ideas become realities, grow and prosper,” he said. “However, peace of mind is a very valuable thing and I treasure it.
“I think I’ve made a contribution when I walk through Times Square and see theaters filled — many would have been swept away. But I feel here that there’s an openness to people here that has been very rewarding for me. I felt part of the place very quickly.”
A memorial service is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sept. 6 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Cold Spring, followed by a reception at the parish hall.
Behind The Story
Obituary: Reports the death of an individual, providing an account of the person’s life including their achievements, any controversies in which they were involved, and reminiscences by people who knew them.