The Coast News Group
James Hubbell’s Ilan-Lael Foundation art compound is offering fall tours. Photo by John Durant.

Fall tours at Hubbell art compound

REGION — Explore the hills of Santa Ysabel during fall tours at the Ilan-Lael Foundation art compound throughout October.

The Ilan-Lael Foundation, founded by distinguished artist and architect James Hubbell, offers an experience for enthusiasts of both art and nature. Conceived and constructed “from the earth up” as both living and creative spaces for Hubbell and his family, the compound represents over 20 years of dedication in creating awe-inspiring structures.

Despite the setback of losing four of the Ilan-Lael buildings in the 2003 Cedar Fire, Hubbell, his family and his team emerged stronger, rebuilding with the support of the community. The fall tours provide a unique chance to explore this space, immersing in Hubbell’s visionary world.

“We are committed to upholding James Hubbell’s exceptional legacy through the Ilan-Lael Foundation, ensuring that his remarkable creations remain a source of inspiration and fascination,” said Executive Director Marianne Gerdes. “Through our endeavors, we seek to broaden awareness and cultivate an enhanced appreciation for his artistic perspective, fostering a deeper comprehension of the profound interplay between art, nature, and sustainable design. We take pride in sharing James Hubbell’s legacy globally, inviting others to partake in the enchantment and beauty that his works convey.”

Hubbell maintains a connection with nature and a steadfast belief in the power of art. With a background in fine arts and architecture, Hubbell’s vision blends the beauty of nature with principles of sustainable design, resulting in distinctive spaces.

Alongside his voluntary contributions to numerous community projects, Hubbell has dedicated over three decades to designing and actively building two schools in underserved Tijuana neighborhoods, Mexico. Additionally, in 1994, he played a key role in realizing the Pacific Rim Park concept, which unites seven countries worldwide.

His dedication to art, nature and community prompted the establishment of the Ilan-Lael Foundation, serving as a platform to perpetuate his legacy and continue his mission of fostering creativity and environmental stewardship. Fall tour visitors will learn about Hubbell’s artistic process and his commitment to sustainable design.

The tours will be available on the first three Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays of October, with tour times at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tours are limited to small groups and last approximately 90 minutes.

To book a tour,visit

1 comment

coastalsloth September 19, 2023 at 10:59 am

The tours are $180, minimum 2 people, per their website. Sadly not really an open house; I’d love to go see this place, but not at that price!

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