Tuesday, December 13, 2022

"Casa Rosita" Miami Beach Studio Home of Henry Salem Hubbell

 In February of 1924, Hubbell and his wife, Rose, a writer of considerable distinction, arrived in Miami Beach for the first time and spent the season in the area. According to the City directories, Hubbell resided at 1039 18th Street from 1926 until 1929. In 1930, Hubbell moved to 1818 Michigan Avenue, located immediately west of 1039 18th Street, and resided there until 1940.



WORK has been started by the Watson Corporation on the construction of the new winter home and studio of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Salem Hubbell, which is located at the intersection of Lenox avenue and Collins canal, Miami Beach.

This is to be a two-story reinforced concrete and hollow tile building, the first floor of which will contain a large living room, dining room, kitchen and butler's pantry. Also there will be a studio on the first floor 20x32 feet, while at the rear will be a patio 30x40 feet. A feature of this home is the wide opening on the north which overlooks the canal and from which there will be steps leading down to a boat landing on the shore of the canal. The cost of the home will be $20,000.

Mr. Hubbell is one of the leading artists of America and is well known in art circles all over the world. He has paintings in all of the leading art galleries of America and more than half a dozen of his paintings have been purchased by the French government. He also has painting's in several of the leading galleries of Europe

Mr. and Mrs. Hubbell spent last season at the Covington Arms apartments at Miami Beach and before leaving last spring for their summer home, “Sllvermine," Norwalk, Conn.. they purchased this home site at Miami Beach and arranged with the Watson Corporation for building their winter home.

Miami Tribune 03 Oct 1924


The Henry Salem Hubbell studio home is nearing completion at its delightful location overlooking Collins canal. Mr. Hubbell, who is now at his studio in Connecticut, has been collecting the furnishings for the place, and has sent down some interesting old doors and iron grille work.

Henry W. Hubbell, who planned the artistic house and has had charge of its construction, said Friday that he expected his parents to return to the Beach between October 15 and November 1.

One of the most attractive features about the house is the patio which will be screened over and used as an outdoor sitting room. The large living room and studio occupies practically the entire ground floor and opens out into the patio. The ceiling in this room will be of pecky cypress decorated  in the Spanish style.

The home will be completed by November 15 and many of the furnishings for it will be brought from Mr. Hubbell's Paris studio.

The home of Henry Salem Hubbell, the portrait painter, at Miami Beach, is a home built around a studio. The exterior is in the Spanish peasant style.

The house is located a few feet back from the canal in a grove of palms. It is of hollow tile with a rough plaster finish over blue and ochre.


At the water entrance gondola posts reminiscent of Venice, frame the mirroring waters of the canal. At this point the canal is seventy-five feet wide.

Looking out front the patio through the front entrance. Here an old paneled door was adapted for a wicket. The floor of the patio is of vari-colored laid hit or miss, and the woodwork and overhead trusses of the screen roof are vermillion

The view from the front door across the patio to the water entrance. The house was designed and built by the owners son, Willard Hubbell.

Shown is a glimpse of the patio which has been screened across the top to support vines. 

1039 18TH STREET

Portrait of Rose Strong Hubbell at "Casa Rosita"

Collins Canal, part of the Miami Beach waterfront, showing a view of the attractive residence of Henry Salem Hubbell at the left of the picture and his earlier home at the right.

 Miami Beach enjoyed the Venetian touch. Shown above is the residence and studio of artist Henry Salem Hubbell on the Dade Canal with gondolas moored outside. Hubbell painted portraits for wealthy vacationers. His home, at Michigan Avenue, was designed in 1925 by architects Schultze and Weaver, who also designed the Miami Biltmore Hotel and the Roney Plaza.

Gondolas in the Collins Canal in front of the Hubbell residence - Miami Beach, Florida.


A 1939 photo shows position of the high water mark on the wall of 1818 Michigan Ave, along the Collins Canal. Also shown are the height of the high water mark in 2011 and its expected height in 2030 and 2060.

Sea Level Rise Creeping Up on Miami Historic Landmark

View from Dade Blvd across Collins Canal.

Property owners rights conflict with the neighborhoods historical designation and protections.

“too vulnerable to be retained”



Architects Schultze and Weaver Lecture - 2011 Whitehall Lecture Series

The property located at 1818 Michigan Avenue was later sold to a New York family, Maxwell Lehrman and Joseph Ronai, around 1941. Hubbell subsequently moved in 1941 to 730 N.E. 90th Street in Miami Shores where he lived and served as President of Trailer Grove Incorporated, a tourist camp, until his death in 1949.

Hubbell's son, Willard, was the president of Hubbell and Hubbell, a general contracting firm established in 1925 and responsible for constructing many buildings in the Miami metropolitan area, including "Casa Casuarina" at 1116 Ocean Drive in Miami Beach (renowned as the recent home of the late Gianni Versace).

Fake or original detail?

Apartment conversion began early at 1818 Michigan Ave. In 1934 Hubbell was sited for making alterations on his home without a building permit to accommodate more than one family in a one-family residential section. 

Once an open covered terrace overlooking the canal.


Henry Salem Hubbell studio stands on land purchased by Hubbell in 1912. The renowned portraitist and his wife, Rose, bought the old farmhouse and barn, and within a few years their place and presence drew other artists. According to Rose, "We made it a place in which people wanted to play." Visitors will find that playful spirit is still alive.

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