While the former Triton Restaurant no longer contains its large collection of Hubbell art, there are many other places throughout California and Baja California where Hubbell art is inspiring and accessible.

Ilan-Lael, Santa Ysabel, CA

The home and studios of James Hubbell and his seminal creation, the source from which his creativity flows.  Nestled in a tranquil hilltop in the mountains east of San Diego, it features nine separate and distinct structures, each a work of art festooned with stained glass, mosaic, wrought iron, ceramic form, and built sustainably using local sources of wood, stone, and adobe.  A tenth struction, the Ilan-Lael Center, is currently under construction.  It’s a great opportunity to see the master at work, blending materials into space, art, and function.  Visit by appointment only.  Public tours held in June and October. Private tours in Spring and Fall. See tour schedule.

Pearl of the Pacific, Shelter Island, San Diego and  Pacific Portal, Shelter Island, San Diego

Shelter Island is the perfect waterfront home for James Hubbell’s sea-inspired creations.  Pacific Portal is an unusual gazebo-type structure, a place to rest in the shade or simply pass through in a symbolic crossing from land to sea.  Just a few hundred yards to the north is Pearl of the Pacific, the third in Hubbell’s string of Pacific Rim Parks.  Constructed by students from around the world, it features mosaics representative of their nations; China, Russia, Mexico, and the United States.  There is also a magnificent wrought iron gate, art-encrusted shell walls, and the iconic pearl.

Entre El Corazon y Mar; Tijuana, B.C., Mexico

Cross the border to Mexico and you can visit another Pacific Rim Park, Entre El Corazon y Mar situated on Hwy 1 on the south end of Tijuana.  Hugging the coastline, it offers magnificent views of the Los Coronados Island, as well as a circular concrete gateway and pearl.

Colegio La Esperanza, Tijuana, B.C., Mexico

Venture into the neighborhood of La Esperanza and you will find three Hubbell-designed schools, a kindergarten, grade school, and high school, designed by James Hubbell and built with considerable help of Ilan-Lael Foundation’s members and volunteers.  This project, which has been ongoing since 1990, has provided thousands with an opportunity to do meaningful service work in Tijuana while working with James and learning about construction and design.  Volunteer work days are organized once a month.  See the Events listing in this newsletter for more information about getting involved.  americasfoundation.net

San Diego Botanic Garden Sculpture Garden, Encinitas CA

Beautiful bronze sculptures reveal themselves as you walk through the Bamboo Grove at the San Diego Botanic Garden.  It’s a perfect setting to see Hubbell’s inspired form, nestled in nature.  Open 9 – 5pm daily.  sdbgarden.org

San Diego County Libraries:  Del Mar, National City, Ramona, Julian, CA

Windows, gates, and sculpture are parts of several of our local libraries in San Diego County.  Enter through a stained glass door surround in Ramona, gaze upon beautiful windows installed in National City, and pass through a decorative wrought iron Hubbell gate as you enter the Julian Library.   See sdcl.org for library hours.

Nature Preserves:  Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, Escondido, CA;  Crest Nature Center, Crest, CA;  Lakeside River Park;  Volcan Mountain Reserve

Hubbell’s connection to nature is undeniable.  That so many in our preservation community celebrate this is a wonderful gift to us all.  From artwork to entry gates, interpretive centers to seating benches, Hubbell art and Hubbell and Hubbell architecture are a natural and inspired fit into some of our most treasured nature spaces.   See individual reserves on line for more information.

Sea Ranch Chapel, Sea Ranch, CA

Built in 1985, this non-denominational sacred space is a joyous design, and Hubbell at his finest.  He combined local natural materials and used gifted local artists to construct this tiny wood and stone chapel.  Surrounded by a carefully designed native habitat, it looks and feels intimate, and makes one wonder why there aren’t more Hubbell buildings in our world.  Open by appointment only.  thesearanchchapel.org

Kumiai Museum, Tecate, B.C., Mexico

Tecate is the center of the ancient territory of the Kumiai (Kumeyaay) people, who today live north and south of the international border.  The architecture design by James Hubbell uses traditional and contemporary materials in a moving way that celebrates the legacy of these original peoples and their living descendents.  Open Wednesday through Sunday 10:00am – 5:00pm.  carem.org.

Rancho La Puerta Resort & Spa, Tecate, B.C., Mexico

Rancho La Puerta translates to “Ranch of the Door,” and when you arrive at the Ranch you are greeted by a magnificent Hubbell door of mahogany carved wood with colorful stained glass cutouts and embedded with precious stones and bronze metal designs.  Enter the building, and you are looking at a magnificent stained glass installation that overlooks a succulent and cactus garden, with hummingbirds busily working the blooms.  There are several spots at this legendary wellness center where you encounter Hubbell art, each one thoughtfully executed and designed to enhance you sense of the wonder of the natural world that is such an integral part of the visitor experience.  By reservation only. rancholapuerta.com

More Hubbell Art in the San Diego area and Beyond

Glorietta Bay Fountain & Sculpture
Coronado, CA

Camp Stevens Chapel
Julian, CA

Heron Cove Cottage
Orcas Island, WA

Pacific Portal Gazebo & Trellis
Shelter Island

Pacific Spirit Sculpture
Shelter Island

Briercrest Park Comfort Station
La Mesa, CA

Moving Circles Fountain
Sharp Grossmont Health Care Courtyard
La Mesa

Julian Library Gate
Julian, CA

Courthouse Façade
San Diego County Superior Court
Vista, CA

Kuchumaa Ecological Center
Tecate, B.C., Mex.

Kumeyaay Museum
Tecate, B.C. Mex.

Hubbell Entry Gates Volcan Mountain Preserve
Julian, CA

National City Library Firebird Stained Glass
National City, CA

Crestridge Ecological Preserve Stone Bench
Crestridge, CA

Congregation Beth Am Sanctuary door and light fixture
Del Mar, CA

First Unitarian Universalist Church Sculpture & Fountain
Hillcrest, San Diego, CA

San Diego Friends Center Quaker Meeting House
La Mesa, CA

Alvarado Hospital Lobby
San Diego, Ca

San Diego Mission de Alcala Sculptures of the Saints
San Diego, CA

Lakeside River Park
Lakeside, CA


TOP PHOTO: Pacific Portal Sculpture, the wave shaped sculpture at the entrance of San Diego Bay on Shelter Island by James Hubbell, Photo courtesy Ilan-Lael Foundation

10 responses to “10 Best Places to See James Hubbell Art”

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  5. Liz Scheurer says:

    James Hubble designed the lake painting and gateway/plaza at Mirror Lake in Eden Park, Cincinnati, OH. 1999-2000.

  6. Diana L Frank says:

    What happened to the big TRITON stained glass that was for sale in 2018? Has it been re-installed somewhere?

  7. vOcDqjF says:

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  8. Like!! Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  9. Marianne Gerdes says:

    Yes, there is a Hubbell structure in Alpine, CA. It is a private residence that is available as an air bnb. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3219129?source_impression_id=p3_1592066612_RBlwVgFBUlPnsxtj&guests=1&adults=1

  10. Carol Vincelett says:

    Is there a J. Hubble structure along Alpine Blvd./Old Hwy. 80 in S.W Alpine? Is it public or private?

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