The Real Deal Miami

Historic Star Island home faces demolition

42 Star Island

42 Star Island

Yet another historic Miami home is facing the wrecking ball. A white mansion at the tip of Star Island, designed by Florida’s first registered architect, Walter deGarmo, will soon make way for a new 20,000-square-foot home.

The husband-and-wife owners, Leonard and Lisa Hochstein, recently won the right to demolish the home after a drawn out legal battle. Leonard Hochstein is a plastic surgeon who, according to the Miami Herald,  calls himself the “boob god.” His wife, Lisa, is a star of reality series “The Real Housewives of Miami.”

The couple’s new home, located at 42 Star Island, will include six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a home theater, a game room, a wine cellar, a five-car garage and a guesthouse.

The pending loss of the historic home is rallying Miami residents to push for strong preservation laws.

“It just shows how pathetic it is that we cannot have the vision . . . to try to protect these homes a little bit better,” Nancy Liebman, a former city commissioner who now heads Miami Beach United, a citywide homeowners organization that supports preservation, told the Miami Herald. [Miami Herald]Christopher Cameron

  • jake

    We don’t have to save every single house that every single historical architect designed.

  • Mark Reese

    That house looks like a sanitorium.

  • TheFutureofMiami

    I never have time to write comments but after the series of biased articles on therealdeal and curbed, I felt I had to. Miami was not put on the global map by NIMBY behavior. These are the very people who made sure Miami had the depressed image of a dying retirement town throughout the world for years! Architecture changes with time and so does a now global destination such as Miami. These guys should go live in a reservation and see if they like living in the freaking huts they are so desperate to save at Met Square. If you go under the Louvres museum in Paris, you will find that the city was built on top of the old mediaval one. 2000 years later, who on earth would want to go back to the Paris of the middle-ages!? The problem with preservationists is that they have a very limited time horizon. Wanting to save everything means saving nothing. Pick your battles, this house is a dump as are most houses in Star Island. In fact, many are dumps being rented out to promoters for events because no reasonable permit is being issued and nobody would want to live in them.

    Also, it is quite a sad thing to hear such direct threats to private property and the right to pursue happiness. Some people made money and some are loud about it but this is Miami Beach, not the Hamptons; this is nothing new, get over it. The vast majority of Miamians actually have jobs and have no time to go to board or community meetings to express the fact that most are actually happy with Miami becoming a real 24/7 global city. Government has become squatted by a small barking liberal minority overshadowing the vast majority of working americans. I never thought the US would want to become Europe. I am from there originally and you guys should come see how bad it is over there before you try to replicate all of our mistakes. I hope Miami will remain one of the few exceptions. Vietnam, Singapore or Dubai got that already.