It was James’s wish that his Ilan-Lael home and the magnificent studios where he created all of his artworks continue to inspire future generations of budding artists, architects and builders. The family requests that donations in his memory be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation, or:

ILAN-LAEL FOUNDATION
℅ The James Hubbell Memorial Art Fund
P.O. Box 1221
Julian, California, 92036

Thank you for honoring James and his vision for the Foundation to continue inspiring artists, architects, and builders for generations to come.

 

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Send your message to the Hubbell Family.

Do you have a special Hubbell memory?

Please feel to share it (below) for all of us who love and miss James. Notes of sympathy and memories may also be sent to Ilan-Lael Foundation, P.O. Box 1221, Julian, CA 92036.

Read about James’s life and his epilogue.


TOP PHOTO: James Hubbell in his studio in Wynola, California. By John Durant

68 responses to “IN MEMORY of JAMES”

  1. Sandra L Long says:

    June 12, 2024
    In 1985, I was working hard to further understanding of the Soviet Union’s history and culture by high school youth and adults in the San Diego area by teaching units on the role of the USSR during WW II and appreciating their cultural ways and accomplishments, thus helping to reduce the fear of atomic war. The organization I was involved with helped establish sister school relationships in both countries and arranged in person visits back and forth, Upon meeting with James, he advised me of a number of books to read for widening and deepening my understanding of the history of the Soviet Union. He also advised me of his efforts to work with the Soviets on projects in the Vladivostok area, further deepening appreciation of the people of both countries through working projects together in expressing beauty. We shared our passion for uniting the people of both cultures through working, creating and expanding our appreciation of the “other” together.
    Thank you James, for your inspirational guidance and exemplerary passion to make a difference in the world!

  2. Catherine O'Connor says:

    What a beautiful yet humble legacy your husband, father and grandfather has created. I was in process of determining what kind of flooring I wanted in my newly purchased home in Ramona when I came across a documentary about James and the building of the family home and studios. I was completely inspired and designed a glass tile pathway in my entryway. Within a year, I was taking mosaic and stained glass workshops at Ilan-Lael, where I was offered a piece of glass rubble from the fire that I included in my first stained glass piece – it now resides in my home. During that workshop, James made a rare appearance. I relate to his artistic style and writings – we both speak in swirls. I am grateful to be a part of the Foundation and I know his work and art will continue to inspire many artists to come.

  3. Jeff Smith says:

    Sending condolences and best wishes to the Hubbell family upon this sad news. I was honored to collaborate with the team at Ilan-Leal and my associates in Los Angeles to help create James’ exhibition “In Harmony with Nature: The Architectural Work of James Hubbell” at the Helms Bakery in 2022, the first comprehensive exhibition of his work mounted in L.A. The first visit to the property with my associates left us stunned by his artistry and inspired to expose him more fully to an L.A. audience. Doing a deep dive into his work and history, and learning about his philosophy was truly life changing. What a treasure to have Jim and Anne drive up for a viewing of the exhibition, and to know by the look on his face that we got it right. Thanks to Jim for his spirit, shining example, and the amazing body of work he left behind, and to the team at the Foundation for carrying forth his message and vision. All the best, Jeff

  4. Dave says:

    I remember seeing james in the national geographic book for the first time way back in 1996-7 and was blown away. I was completely hooked and started reading and taking in his methods for sculpture. The book was all worn out the pages bent and dog eared because he influenced me so much. Thank you for that Jim. May you make your gorgeous stained glass and sculptures in heaven.

  5. Diddo Clark says:

    I’ve loved Anne and Jim Hubbell since 1966 when my sculptor uncle, Toza Radakovich, took me to visit them at their drip castle in Julian. I’ve loved Jim’s brother, Bert Hubbell, since 1969 when I visited Bert, who was making sculptures at his home near Mt. Fuji in Japan. In the early 1970s, when I was a UCSD student, I took my parents to Julian to visit Anne and Jim, and I almost brought Ted Geisel there (Theodore Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss). I was SCHEDULED to bring Ted Geisel to visit Anne and Jim in Julian but Ted’s schedule was interrupted and he had to cancel. Anne, Jim, Bert, Toza, and Ted are, or were, among the most wonderful people I have ever met. I am forever blessed to have known them.

  6. Naomi Nussbaum says:

    My deepest condolences to all the family on the loss of your patriarch. I have known Jim for many years and had the honor of working with him on several projects. He was always a true professional, humble, gentle and generous. He is a legend not only in San Diego but across the Pacific Rim, touching all of our communities with his exceptional vision and creativity. He will profoundly missed.

  7. david bardwick says:

    I have tried over and over to write to you, Anne, Drew, and all of the Hubbells we have met over the years. The words would not come. There is too much to say, too much to capture and share with you all.

    It all began with a fundraiser at our home for the Vladivostok project with months of weekly planning evenings, continued with an amazing and successful evening and my sudden wish to join the team in Vladivostok. Once there, amid the crumbling city and Russia’s decaying Pacific fleet, beauty was created at every level and with every person we met through the project. The impossible was done by one of humanity’s most magical human beings, James Hubbell.

    From that time on, James was my mentor, my guide, in my attempt to live my life to create and appreciate beauty, to show kindness, practice inclusion and good will, to name a few things James’ example held out the possibility for me. To have such a guide is an unimaginably great gift. Thank you James. Thank you Anne and Drew, whom my wife and I grew , so easily, to love as well. How could we not.

    Our story and life with James covers decades. I’m sure I could fill a book with how we have been touched. for now, We can only thank the Hubbells and share the loss of a great friend, Though now, the loss has lessened and his gift is alive and well in our hearts, as we look forward with joy to what is yet possible.

    Always with Love,
    David and Amita Bardwick

  8. Nicole Berg says:

    My heart goes out to Anne & her family. I have been a longtime admirer of James Hubbell’s inspiring art & architecture since I discovered his lovely Sea Ranch Chapel many years ago. If there’s one place on Earth one would want to get married in, it is that.
    On May 13, I finally realized my dream of visiting Ilan-Lael, which was wonderful. Not knowing any better, I had brought my Otto Rigan books on James’ work in the hopes of a chance meeting. I did not learn of his passing until just now. I am most sad at this news. ~ Nicole Berg, also born on October 23rd.

  9. Eddie Jones says:

    30 years ago James and Ann welcomed me into their home. I had just shown up, determined to experience the wonderland I had read about in “The Earth Up”. I arrived as a stranger but left transformed by kindness and extraordinary beauty. I still carry the lessons with me.
    PEACE
    Eddie Jones, architect.

  10. Susanne Sklar says:

    James was seated across from me, when we first met with Gennady Gerasimov, the Kremlin’s spokesman (who was also a friend of Gorbachov) – about the tricky task of obtaining visas for the hermetically closed city of Vladivostok. This was highly civilised – white linen table cloths, delicate crystal, delicious sandwiches and cakes, gracious conversation.

    Jim asked me what I did and I told him that I was the co-director of Citizen Diplomacy (founded and directed by Lowell Strombeck), but that my secret passion was the poetry and painting of William Blake.

    “Oh!” said James Hubell, smiling. “My best friend’s father loved William Blake.”

    “Who is your best friend?” I asked.

    “Quentin Keynes.”

    I couldn’t help it – I slammed my hand on the table and burst out: “You knew Sir Geoffery Keynes?”

    Lowell looked startled, as did our guest of honour, Gennady Gerasimov.

    “It’s like knowing Belinsky!” I explained.

    “How do you know about Belinsky?” Gerasimov asked.

    “I love Dostoyevsky” Belinsky helped put Dostoyevsky ‘on the map’ and Sir Geoffrey did likewise with Blake. He was probably the best Blake editor who ever lived.

    I started rabbiting on with James, Anne, and Gerasimov about how Blake and Dostoyevsky have a lot in common. Their core vision is entirely compatible. But before I could start quoting from my two favourite writers Lowell Strombeck said unto me:

    “Susanne, we need to talk about visas.”

    Gerasimov smiled. “Don’t worry about the visas,” he said.

    And a rollicking discussion ensued. Then Jim invited me to visit Ilan-Lael – with Lowell. And when I saw the place – it was a transfiguration.

    The sun was setting as we turned onto Orchard Lane in Wynola – it was almost dark as we parked. Within five steps I felt as if I’d been hit by a truck of light. I think I walked in, walked out, and found myself sitting on the mosaic bench beside the kitchen door. My heart danced, my head spun, and thought for a few seconds that I might have died. We might have been hit so fast we didn’t see it. I had died, and gone to heaven.

    The love and the beauty: it was heaven’s gate.

    But it was real. It was here on earth – beauty made manifest, changing my breathing, my blood fizzing with wonder. It was real.

    The more I saw the more I understood: if William Blake had been an architect, this is what he’d have made. I was sitting in beauty, walking in beauty, breathing it, feeling the love in the eyes of James and Anne, the love deep in the earth, high in the stars.

    Indestructible Joy.

    And James brought that to Vladivostok.

  11. Sandia Tuttle says:

    I have two really good memories. The first, my husband, Dennis Tuttle, scribbled a few lines on the entry doors of a building that he designed for Camp Stevens. He said that Jim Hubble should do the stained glass. Jim took those scribbles and turned them into fantasmagoric images in glass. Thanks, Jim.
    The second was when my five year old grandson, who never knew a stranger, met Jim outside the restroom at Briar Park where he was doing a glass installation. My grandson walked up to this stranger and said, “Hello. I am Lucas Tuttle.” Whereupon, Jim responded, “Hello. I am Jim Hubble. Are you related to Dennis Tuttle?” Lucas responded, “My grandpa.” Jim then said, “Your grandfather is one of the best architects I have ever worked with.” What a kind thing to say to that little boy.

  12. Donald Cirlin says:

    James Hubbell was a great man who made the world a better & more beautiful place. He was not just a man. He was a holy spirit among us. It was an honor to share some time with him & his family. Long live James Hubbell!

  13. Devora Safran says:

    “TRUST LIFE “ was the message I got from James when I had the opportunity to interview him for an interior design class I was taking about 5 years ago.

    It was both personal and a universal message. He touched my life and deeply inspired me with his wisdom, kindness and generosity of spirit.
    The world is a better place because he was here.

    TRUST LIFE has carried me through many situations, from the pandemic to a move outside the US. I have designed many works of art using this as my mantra!

    Thank you james! Your spirit lives on!
    Devora

  14. Don Cirlin says:

    I met James & Ilan Lael in the 80’s when I lived in La Jolla. I can’t remember now but we would have dinner meetings, I think pot luck & James was his usual humble self. We were like family. So many good memories, open houses, & most of all a visit to Tijuana. All the best to Anne & kids. May his memory be a blessing!

  15. Jody Abssy Historian San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild says:

    On August 30, 2011, I had the pleasure of meeting with James at the Hubbell & Hubbell Architectural Offices at Grape and Sixth. Together with Earl Saunders, an old friend of James, and Ann Walker we asked James for recommendations of artists he had admired as a 30 year member of the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild. At that time, we were just beginning to delve into the story of the Guild as it approached its centennial anniversary in 2015. With his characteristic modest demeanor, he played down his own role and asked us to honor Toza and Ruth Radakovich, Barney Reid and Ethel Greene. He felt their significant contributions to the San Diego community had been forgotten over time. We have been able to fulfill his wishes in our forthcoming book, “100 Artists, 100 Years: A Century of Creativity in San Diego”. For each artist, a biography, a full page color reproduction of the work they exhibited at the Oceanside Museum of Art in 2015 and further references is included. In addition, the story of the Artists Guild from 1915 – today, and Curator’s notes documenting personal stories of the artists will be found there. We anticipate publication of the book in early 2025. We thank him for his tireless efforts to bring unity through beauty and for creating a path for us to follow.

  16. Paul Kozal says:

    James Hubbell, an extraordinary architect, sculptor, and artist, has left an indelible mark on the world through his imaginative and soulful creations. It is with a heavy heart that we reflect on his passing. His visionary work on the Sea Ranch Chapel, in particular, holds a special place in my heart.

    The Chapel, with its organic forms and harmonious integration with the landscape, seems to emerge from the earth itself, becoming a natural extension of its surroundings. Photographing it often presented challenges, but it was in these moments of artistic endeavor that I came to truly understand Hubbell’s genius. The Chapel’s unique angles and forms interact dynamically with the light and environment, creating a living, breathing piece of art that speaks directly to the soul.

    Each visit to the Chapel was not just a photographic opportunity but a moment of personal connection. After every session, I would take a quiet moment to sit within its embrace, feeling the profound peace and beauty that James imbued into every corner. His ability to create spaces that resonate on such a deep, emotional level is a testament to his incredible talent and vision.

    James Hubbell will be profoundly missed. His legacy, however, lives on in the spaces he crafted and the joy and inspiration they continue to bring. We are fortunate to have the Sea Ranch Chapel, a timeless piece of his artistry, to remind us of his boundless creativity and his deep connection to nature. Future generations will undoubtedly continue to find solace and inspiration within its walls, just as I have. Rest in peace, James Hubbell, and thank you for the beauty you have given to the world.

  17. Sue Stiver says:

    I first learned about James’ work in the 70’s.
    I had purchased 2 books with photos of some of his buildings.
    I was immediately excited about these creative wonders and spent many hours looking at the books and dreaming about building my own home in a creative way while using re-cycled materials.
    Many years later, I attended several of the Hubbell open houses where I saw first-hand his beautiful work. I also admired his work in other areas of San Diego County, including the Triton, Unitarian Church, Oceanside gallery, SD Central Library and St. James by the Sea. (I was dumbfounded when his work was removed from the Triton bar as I could not understand why someone would choose to do this and replace it with plain plaster!) I purchased a small bronze statue by James at St. James by the Sea. Before I received the statue, I returned to St James to attend a special event in James’ honor. I saw James sitting on a bench by himself in the courtyard and went to visit with him. He informed me that the statue was titled, “Tentative Meeting”. It is a statue James had given to various leaders during his travels around the world. The statue represents to me two of my loves: Horses and the Ocean. James and I shared some of the same passions, including a love of nature. I definitely felt a kinship with him. I am so thankful that James was part of our world. I am just one of so many lives that James touched. He gave us so many gifts.
    My thoughts go out to his family and friends.

  18. Shara Fisler says:

    Being with Jim Hubbell elevated the way I see and experience the world. I am so grateful that his spirit and work are now at Ocean Discovery Institute’s Living Lab and that thousands of young people have been and will continue to gain his perspective and feel his legacy.

  19. Theresa Yuschok says:

    James embodied Rumi’s poem, “Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
    We met at AUGURIES OF BEAUTY–visiting desert blooms, reading The Four Quartets at Ilan Lael, and volunteering at Top of the World School–and we maintained a connection.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for opening my eyes, expanding my heart, blessing the world with soul-filled art and peace pearls.

  20. Vicky Cabot says:

    Every visit to Ilan-Lael was beyond fantastic. A visit to another world, and to James’ imagination. I was so pleased to meet him on an earlier Father’s Day tour. I’ve been forever inspired by his work. I first saw the Sea Chapel in the 90s, never imagining that I’d meet the artist one day. Condolences to the Hubbell Family. May all who visit here rejoice in his gifts that will endure. Making our lives and the lives of generation to come more magical and mysterious.

  21. Mary Hirsch says:

    Aloha. Perhaps you remember me, I was married to Hal Wolverton and met you and your family during your time at Webb. I loved your parents greatly. So sad to hear your Dad passed away. Please give my love to your dear Mom. They helped grow me as I was very young in my Webb years. They are dear in my heart. Time has flown by. Hal passed away last June. We remained friends after parting. I remarried my childhood paperboy 14 years ago. We live most of the year on Kauai and the rest in the foothills of Claremont in my Grandfathers Home and up at our 100 year old log cabin in Mammoth. Your parents have always had a wonderful presence in my life. Sending you hugs and my love, Mary

  22. Patricia Frischer says:

    He lived his life in beauty…and carved a wonderful path along the way. We could not be more sorry to hear of the passing of the San Diego icon James Hubbell. He left us after 92 glorious years spreading light and joy and love. He will be missed but his legacy is strong for all those who were encouraged by him and by the wonderful art and architecture he leaves.

  23. Arq.Galel Martinez Hernandez says:

    My deepest condolences to the Hubbell family, I hope the pain is temporary. His departure left me shocked and I feel sad about it. For me, James was a great example to follow. He made me understand that life is a gift and with a grain of sand you can achieve impossible things. I thank him for his teachings and his big heart. Someday we will catch up with you friend ( algún día te alcanzaremos amigo)

  24. Jennifer G Rohlmeier says:

    Dear Hubbell Family-From Rob and Jennifer (Kelly) Rohlmeier and James “Bob” Kelly-Our deepest love to all of you. We remember our dear friend with happy pictures in our minds-his patient face as he was swirled around the floor during folk dancing, our fun times at the beautiful Hubbell home, the many beach parties after church….He is now reunited and greeted by so many friends in the Inner Worlds who are happy for his return. Blessings to you all.

  25. Nancy Arthur-McGehee says:

    I first met James and Anne Hubbell in the 1970’s on a field trip with a Palomar College design class. We had a tour of their home, helped move some rocks and I fell forever under their spell of beauty and connection. I am deeply grateful to the quiet power that James Hubbell’s example offered me. Through the years, his work and words have served as inspirations that guide my life as an artist. My heartfelt thoughts are with Anne and family during this sad time. My love and gratitude go with them.

  26. Sher Prince says:

    May 21, 2024

    My heart is heavy for the family. I pray God will comfort and give you peace while you process this loss. The world has lost a true treasure that none will ever replace. I am so very grateful that through my career within the design industry, I had the opportunity to meet and get to know James Hubbell and become acquainted with his art. back in about 1972, I asked him to come speak to our association (The Society of Architectural Administrators) and perhaps share about his works. It took some convincing, as most know how shy he was. He agreed, and through that he additionally invited our group out to the home for lunch around the pool. My daughter’s most fond memory is of that day swimming in the pool with his boys. James had a most precious heart – and I always felt he was probably the closest in commune with God of anyone I have ever met. He will be missed, but fondly thought of for the gift he shared with us.

    Sher Prince

  27. Anita Feldman says:

    I returned to San Diego from London in 2014, after 25 years. James was one of the first local artists here that I met. He welcomed me enthusiastically and we became fast friends, immediately felt a kinship. He and Anne got to know my children and my closest friends. I’d bring James and Anne picnics , and we held hands in the wonderous pool and connected. They were magical moments. I loved that he and Anne created an alternative life there – not bound by the everyday. Sometimes James would meet me in Balboa Park (when he was well enough) to talk about artist foundations, but most of the time he yearned to talk sculpture – Moore, Rodin, and other sculptors; he had a hunger to share ideas about natural forms and materials, inspiration from the incredible world that surrounds us every day, every leaf, blade of grass or gnarled root or branch. When standing at the hilltop at his home, he told me that one day when he died his ashes would follow the river to the ocean and a little girl in Asia would pick up a seashell and he would be there. My love to Anne, Drew, and the Hubbell family.

  28. Cathy Coverley says:

    I am so sorry that James has departed to the beyond. May he experience peace and joy.

    He was a beacon of light for all who knew him. As a glass artist I have always admired his pursuit of his vision. So many beautiful examples of his unique and glorious work – he created new forms of architecture and adornment. He was so generous – all of us benefited.

    He will be sorely missed.

    My condolences to Ann and the family,

    Sincerely, Cathy Coverley

  29. Maria & Ron Lindley says:

    We are so very sorry to hear of James’ passing. Sending prayers for grace & peace to Anne & the family and friends.

    He was an amazing, rare creative who shared his gifts so masterfully & with such humility, it is a major loss. We are grateful for all he gave that we can continue to enjoy. We visited the Julian compound a number of times over more than 20 years, and will never forget it.

    With sympathy & appreciation,

    Maria & Ron Lindley

  30. Roger Doudna says:

    Dear Hubbells,

    I received this news this morning with a heavy heart. Like so many others, I really loved James and his many works. It was an honour and pleasure to have known him.

    I passed on word of his passing to Findhorn Fellows, saying James helped birth the ecovillage here, setting the scene with Sim Van der Ryn in 1982 in their design ‘charettes’ for what we wanted to do, inspiring us to just get on with it. The ‘Gaudi-esque’ clay model he produced of the ‘Sun Petal’ cluster become the centrepiece of the October conference that year – “Building a Planetary Village”. The watercolours sketches he did in his spare time became the design for the window that adorns the entrance to the Universal Hall. And, of course, most recently he and his team in California re-created the Firebird window that originally adorned the Upper CC, was lost in the fires several years ago, and whose replica now hangs in the Upper Foyer of the Universal Hall. And that reproduction process happened while James was in his early 90’s! What a guy, and his heart was as huge as his talent. He will be sorely missed.

    In the Spirit of Fellowship,
    Roger Doudna
    Focaliser, Findhorn Fellowship

  31. Jamey Scott Breinberg says:

    I’m sorry to hear the sad news, my deepest condolences to you all. And a hearty congrats and salute to James for living so long, inspiring so many, and leaving the Earth a more beautiful place! I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to meet and work with him and will always treasure the memories…

    Sincerely,

    Jamey Scott Breinberg

  32. David Evans Graphics says:

    Here is my tribute to James Hubble:
    • I was fascinated by James’ stained glass pieces at galleries in Solana Beach long before I got to meet him.
    • He generously gave me time to talk during one of our Father’s Day visits to his compound Ilan-Lael.
    • He asked about my art and I felt he was genuinely interested in talking to another creative artist. I felt honored and told him so, and he just poo pooed me.
    • The old Triton/Beach House in Cardiff was so special to me and became a favorite place with his characteristic natural, flowing lines, and stained glass.
    • But nothing came close to the compound. Imagine growing up in that creative, loving environment! I was in his heaven on earth.
    • A true Renaissance Man in our time.
    • My hero.

    David R. Evans

  33. Peter & Judy Corrente says:

    Our heart is heavy knowing James is gone. Sympathy to all the family and helpers.

    Peter & Judy Corrente

  34. Julie Squires says:

    Thank you for letting us know. My love to Anne. She and James changed my perspective on life over 50 years ago. Since then, I have seen and experienced life through the eyes of Beauty. They awakened this in me. Wishing the Hubbell much grace and peace, and loving you from a distance. Julie Squires

  35. Lonnie & Maurice Hewitt says:

    So sad that he’s no longer on our planet. If there’s a heaven, he’ll be making it look even better, and welcoming more people in.

    Our heartfelt condolences….
    Lonnie & Maurice Hewitt

  36. Wedad Schlotte says:

    Dear Hubbell family.
    Our deepest condolences.

    We give solace to you and ourselves assuring us all that the legacy of James Hubbell, his creative art and beautiful teachings, shall stay forever with us.

    We are fortunate to have visited his studio, the house and met the wonderful team caring for his fascinating pieces of art.

    Regards
    Wedad

  37. John Misci says:

    Incredible talent and visionary – so glad to have known of him and had to pleasure to meet him. The Sea Ranch Chapel is one of my favorite places in the world. It has a spirit and energy and now maybe an angel looking over it.

  38. Sheinie Warhaft says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers for all the family.

  39. Carlos Alvarez says:

    RIP
    I had the honor to be a part of his volunteer crew at La Esperansa in Mexico.
    He will be missed.

  40. Mike Scholnick says:

    James and Anne, you inspired a community in a way that was incomprehensible to most of those amongst you.  To remember the sharing of artistic expressions, the joyful teachings of folk dancing and the gentle questions about ambitions, it is always remarkable to think that this global influence cared so much about the simple people around him.  Growing up with James and the Hubbell Family was a privilege and influence that will never be forgotten. 

  41. Teo Briseño says:

    Sending Warm-heartedness to Anne and all the Hubbell family.
    May James rejoice with all Divine,
    beyond the boundaries of the physical and this transformation give deep understanding and Love abound.

  42. Steve Farmer says:

    I’m very grateful to have met and worked with Jim Hubbell.

    I was first acquainted with his work, when I found ‘From the Earth Up’ at the Library, in the 1980’s.
    I the saw the video, of his work on PBS. I was blown away by the majestic, yet simple forms he was creating. I have always driven to build my own shelters, since childhood, and seeing Jim cutting his own trail, added fuel to my ‘fire’, to do the same.

    Many years passed, and most of my personal projects were relegated to existing structures, or experiments done in my backyard(s). I finally got my own land, to start, from scratch, the building projects that I wanted to do, according to the uniqueness, of the site, and my vision, of how to adapt, to that uniqueness.

    That was in 2004, and is still ongoing, though neglected somewhat.

    In 2012, my partner, Sandy, and I, came out to San Diego County, for a season. In my mind, there was no way, I was going to be here, and not seek out James Hubbell. We let some of the people we were staying with our interest, in Hubbell, and were soon informed that he was having a show, in Oceanside.

    So we went, and got into the greeting line, and I got to meet Jim, and told him I would like to volunteer.

    So started my journey to ‘Hubbell Hill’.

    We first saw Jim at Ilan Lael, in January. We were stewards at Foster Lodge, in Mout Laguna, at the time, and it was just a few days after a large snowfall, when we came to visit. There was still snow on the ground, when we had our visit, and personal tour, with Jim. He gave us Kim’s, (the GC), phone number, and before we knew it, we were on the project.

    There are soon any fond memories of our times there, and we eventually were hired on. We both got to stretch our skills, met wonderful people, and grew a lot, while helping create Jim’s ‘Grand Opus’ in the creation of the center.

    There is sooo much more my heart wants to relate, but I will end this memory, by expressing my deep gratitude, for the opportunity to have shared in the creative process, and worked with James Hubbell.

    May he make someone happy as their ‘Pearl of the Pacific.’

  43. Philip & Linda Decker says:

    Dear Anne, We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family. James and his talent is a huge loss to the world. He has left so much of his talented creations behind that he will never be forgotten. My parents, Phil and Aileen thought the world of you and James and they treasured those handmade Christmas cards that arrived each year. Anne, when I was a kid you were my Sunday school teacher and when I was a teenager I helped with my family to build the first building on your property. Before the fire, I came up with my wife Linda, her parents and mine for a visit. At the time James was working on the Palace doors for Abu Dhabi. That was so amazing to see in person. We will always remember James fondly and cherish the painting he did that hangs above our fireplace. May he rest in peace. ♥

  44. David Evans says:

    • I was fascinated by James’ stained glass pieces at galleries in Solana Beach long before I got to meet him.
    • He generously gave me time to talk during one of our Father’s Day visits to his compound Ilan-Lael.
    • He asked about my art and I felt he was genuinely interested in another creative artist. I felt honored and told him so, and he just poo pooed me.
    • The old Triton/Beach House in Cardiff was so special to me and became a favorite place with his characteristic natural, flowing lines, and stained glass, but nothing came close to the compound. Imagine growing up in that creative, loving environment! I was in his heaven on earth.
    • A true Renaissance Man in our time.
    • Thank you James Hubble, still creating, His parting words to me were: “There is no retirement,…what for?” • My Hero.

  45. Edward White says:

    Thank you Jim for all you contributed to the world. You were an inspiration to so many. I enjoyed our relationship over the years. You will be greatly missed.

    My sincere condolences to Anne and the family . See you on the other side.. your friend Ed .

    Ed White

  46. Ute Maschke says:

    Opening his heart to the world, James Hubbell taught me how to open mine. Today my heart goes out to the Hubbell family.

  47. Deirdra Doan says:

    I lived in Oregon in the 90’s and our PBS station aired a documentary on James. His work brought me such comfort and Joy! And I would replay it when ever I needed peace!
    A few years later I was going through a very rough patch with my teen, I happened to be in San Diego.
    I called Ann and James and they welcomed me into their home and studio. James gave me wonderful fatherly advice that encouraged me greatly! I will never forget this kindness and bright spot in my life!

    I am an artist and my husband a touring musician. I gave the Hubbells John s music and they became loving friends. It was nice to Bless them
    Back with our art .

    I pray for your family and will be forever thankful for James and Ann the family and foundation for being such joy to
    The world.
    Blessings!

  48. Leonard Sweet says:

    No matter how much you prepare yourself mentally and emotionally, the death of someone who has profoundly shaped your every aspect of life remains an overwhelming and heart-wrenching loss. The impact of such a loss reverberates deeply, underscoring the indelible mark they left on your life. . . . .
    Such is the case with James Hubbell. He named his compound Ilan-Lael, a Hebrew name where “Ilan” means “tree” and “Lael” means “to God” or “belonging to God.” As I drove up his driveway, I was awestruck by the way he had seamlessly integrated art with nature and architecture in every nook and cranny of his compound, which included his home, studio, workshop, and several additional buildings and sculptures set amidst the natural landscape. At that moment, I realized that “Ilan Lael” was indeed the embodiment of the “Tree of Life” with each structure serving as both a breathtaking work of art and a functional building.
    As I left his sacred compound, my eyes burned with the overwhelming beauty I had witnessed. I knew that my eyes had been opened, and I could never see the world again the same way. I had to stop at the first gas station I could find, the fountain gushing from my eyes so bathed and blinded me. I sat down in a phone booth (this was the mid-80s) and started calling everyone I could get hold of, and testified to my conversion to the “tov” (beauty, goodness, life) of the Tree of Life, as revealed through James Hubbell’s extraordinary vision.
    Every feature of Sanctuary Seaside on Orcas Island, is inspired by Hubbell–from its curvaceous landscape design that pulls the campus together though lighted walking paths, to its whimsical “Easter eggs” that ambush and surprise, to its iconic James Hubbell Heron Cove cottage, a destination site that is “original” in every way down to its light shades and mosaic grotto (hand-done by sons Brennan and Drew Hubbell). Partly because his architecture was more sculptural than mechanical, and his creations blurred the lines between various artistic disciplines, the name of James Hubbell does not yet appear in the “Top Ten Architects” alongside Wright, Johnson, Kahn, Saarinen, Pei, Gehry, Meier, Pelli, Koolhaas. But it will in the future.
    Among my most cherished possessions are the Christmas cards I received from Jim and Anne Hubbell over the years, which you won’t find in these photos. Every Advent season, James Hubbell crafted an original poem, printed it beneath a signed, original sketch, and accompanied it with a personal note to each recipient. One of my favorite poems from the Hubbells reads:
    The universe sings again
    in silence,
    The Christ is Born,
    bringing renewal
    to each of us.
    Merry Christmas and hope all is well with you,
    Anne and Jim
    These cards, with their heartfelt messages and personal touches, are true treasures. They serve as a reminder that the universe indeed sings better songs now because of James Hubbell’s presence and the beauty he brought into the world through his art, architecture, and unwavering spirit of generosity.

  49. Steve Grant says:

    The first time I encountered a work by James Hubbell I was floored: never had I seen a work of art so sublimely beautiful (Was it a stained glass window? A statue? A structure? Doesn’t matter). Over time I got to see more… I stayed in a house near Julian he designed and built in the same style as Ilan-Lael, toured the latter of course (incredible!), discovered entirely by accident the Sea Ranch Chapel. I got to meet him briefly a time or two and experience his quiet, kind spirit.
    His work will outlive him for many years, and his unique and exquisite vision and expression continue to inspire and nurture all who experience it. So many of us miss you, James, and are so grateful for the beauty you bring into our lives.

  50. Connie McIntire says:

    Dear Anne–I remember the years of the Allied Craftsmen and meeting you and James through Toza
    and Ruth Radakovich. My life has been so enriched with the beautiful creations of Jim through the years.
    He leaves such a legacy, never to be forgotten by everyone who knew him–artist or not.
    I pray for your peace and comfort with your sons. James will be with you in loving spirit, for sure.
    Connie McIntire, Encinitas

  51. Elizabeth Snyder says:

    I remember in the 90’s getting to spend some summers as a kid swimming in the pool and staying in the boys house all before the fire. I remember coming back to visit and seeing all the damage. Knowing Jim will use the pieces to make something more beautiful. Thank you for letting me create these beautiful memories. Feeling like I was a princess in a magical kingdom. I have never met anyone with such a beautiful soul and kind heart as Jim. Huggs to you Anne and the boys.

  52. Phyllis M. Kessel says:

    My friendship with Jim and Ann go back to the early days of San Diego Home/Garden where I worked. I spent ever so many holidays around their dinner table and summers around the pool.
    Ann, my heart goes out to you and the boys. Great, great memories.
    Sending love and prayers,
    Phyllis Van Doren Kessel

  53. Carl Westerlund says:

    Barbara and I remember with fondness James and Anne from our Julian days (1973-1984). We had such good times with them. Once James asked me to come up with a Hebrew name for their place. We came up with Ilan-Lael (a tree belonging to God). I have no idea why we chose that name.

  54. Marianne Gerdes says:

    The impact James made on my life is hard to quantify. Such a privilege to know him, work with him, and call him a friend. He opened my eyes and my soul. His example will remain a guiding light.

  55. Reem Lagerson says:

    I am so very saddened by this news. I’m one of the lucky few whose home was touched by his talent, and despite living here for over 21 years I am still so grateful to be surrounded by such beauty. My sincere condolences to Anne and Drew and the family. God’s Speed! 🤍🕊️🤍

  56. Simone Butler says:

    So very sorry for your loss – we will miss him! Twice I’ve had the honor of interviewing James. The first time was in 1992 when I visited him and Anne in their magical stone-and-earth cottage on the hill. James waxed particularly eloquent when showing me his paintings inspired by the mystical poet and artist William Blake. I knew then that we were kindred spirits. The second time was in 2022 at the retirement hotel. James was excited to show me the abstract paintings he was creating, despite limitations imposed by Parkinson’s. His thirst for life had not dimmed. At the end of our talk, I asked this gentle, intrepid explorer if he was afraid to die. “Part of me is afraid,” he admitted. “I have no idea what’s going to happen on the other side. But you have to trust that it’s just part of the adventure.” What would he want on his gravestone? James pondered this a moment, then ventured something so true to his generous nature, “I’d just say Thank you. Very grateful.”

  57. Loxi and David Hagthrop says:

    Our hearts and prayers go out to Anne and all
    of Jim’s family and friends at the loss of this
    great and gentle man. We thank God we were able
    to share his life and all he has given to our world
    God Bless you all. David and Loxi Struckus Hagthrop

  58. Charlene Penner says:

    Greetings Drew, Brennan, Torrey and everyone!!!!!!!
    Laurel had let me know of James’s passing. Not a surprise, but HUGE!!!!!!!
    Glad to hear it was quietly with family at side!!!!
    My gentle condolences to you all. My warm arms around Anne!!!!!!!
    I love the poem at the close of this announcement!!!!!!!
    Looking forward to learning when/where the public service will be held!
    Many Blessings
    Charlene

  59. cecilia stanford says:

    I am indebted to Jim for what I consider to be my life. He was a true renaissance man, my mentor, my example of a life well-lived. My sincere wishes for peace to his family, and all of those of keenly feel this transition. After almost 10 years, I left his employ as a mosaicist and put my energy into my studio as an object maker. He came to my first solo exhibition, and told me how proud he was of me to continue on my path. My privilege to know he and Ann.

  60. Vivien & Ben U says:

    Dear Anne & the Hubbell family,

    We are extremely sorry to learn of Jim’s passing. He has been intermittently a part of our life especially with the wonderful creation he made for our home. We will miss him dearly. May he rest in peace.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you always.

    Vivien & Ben U

  61. Cotter says:

    What a lovely tribute. May God Bless you during this time.

  62. PD says:

    So, so sorry. Can’t stop crying. What an honor to know and be inspired by such a Huge Spiritual and Artistic Soul. All grounded in Nature. Every condolence. We will never see his like again.

  63. Susanne Sklar says:

    With all my heart.

    There are tears – but there is boundless gratitude. James was and is a blessing – a bridge to Eternity.

    My thoughts waver, flicker.

    I pray for you all, for us all.

    Let the beauty that saves the world be unleashed.

    I love you

    Susanne

  64. Gaye Lub says:

    What a renaissance man James was.
    We will miss him dearly.
    I’m grateful for the many wonderful memories we have of James and Anne.
    Our prayers are with the family.
    Love, Gaye, Sonia and Nik Lub

  65. Louis N Chase says:

    Heartfelt prayers, love and pure light…

  66. Jeanete Biasotti, Ph.D. says:

    May he rest in peace.
    Thank you for letting us know.
    God be with you all.

  67. Lin Ball says:

    I so enjoyed learning about Mr Hubble when we visited the grounds and buildings several years ago. I had always wanted to see it ever since leaning about it over 20 years ago.
    We’re so glad you all had the vision to establish the foundation and share his wonderful art with the world. May he rest in peace.

  68. Laurel Costa says:

    My deepest sympathies to the Hubbell Family. I feel eternally grateful to have known James during his vibrant life and to still be a part of this kind and loving community. Now and forever we are a Pacific Family!

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