>James Hubbell’s artists complex was designed to be at one
with the earth and to dance with the sky
James Hubbell Home and Studio
By: James Hubbell and family, artists and volunteers
Materials: Wood, stone, clay, concrete, stained glass, wrought iron, glass mosaics
Size: Nine structures, pool and garden on 40 acres
Where: Santa Ysabel
Annual Open House: June 19.
Phone: (760) 765-3427
Tickets and info: ilanlaelfoundation.org/visit/open- house/
Built in 1958 and renovated after the 2003 Cedar fire, the Hubbell home is made of materials including wood, stone, clay, concrete, stained glass, wrought iron and glass mosaics. The children’s room is seen above.
James Hubbell, at his Santa Ysabel compound, much of which was destroyed in the Cedar Fire, is now rebuilt, shown here on Feb. 7, 2011. (Photo by K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
James Hubbell is a national treasure in our midst. An artist and designer, humanitarian and environmentalist, he is internationally revered for inventive, ecological buildings and uplifting public parks constructed with volunteer collaborators from many cultures. Nine intimate and unique structures house his renowned, vibrant home and busy art studios on a hilltop near Julian. Rustic, imaginative and uncommonly beautiful, these
curvy buildings comfortably hug the earth and dance with the sky with undulating roofs and sculptural accents. Hubbell and assistants embellish them with cascading mosaics, rich stained-glass windows and whimsical arcs of iron, all in harmony with nature.
San Diegans mourned when the 2003 Cedar fire damaged four of the beloved buildings, but Hubbell, his wife, Anne, and many friends quickly mobilized to rebuild them, with some improvements such as solar panels and a new kitchen. Another addition is a sparkling, sculptural shell just big enough to shelter one to three people in quiet contemplation.
The Ilan-Lael Foundation is the steward of this magical, historic landmark, which is open once a year on Father’s Day (June 19) and for groups by appointment. Visit and you’ll never want to live in a box again.