42 Star Island: Miami Beach Approves 'Real Housewife' Plan To Demolish Historic 1925 Mansion

Updated 3/5/2013 The Miami Beach DRB has approved demolition of the historic home.


The Miami Beach Design Review Board is to consider an application at the December 4th meeting from Dr. Leonard Hochstein for the construction of a new 2-story home to replace an existing 1925 architecturally significant home at 42 star island, to be demolished.

Dr. Hochstein recently acquired the property in a foreclosure sale.

The existing house was constructed in 1925 and designed by architects Degarmo & Varney. This classic three (3) story 1925 Miami Beach grand residence was designed by Walter Degarmo (b. 1876), one of the most distinguished architects to practice in South Florida. As a reference to the stature of Walter Degarmo’s design work, he designed the Community Church, located at 500 Lincoln Road, for Carl Fisher in 1921.

Dr. Hochstein has submitted an “Engineering Report of the Existing Conditions” for the main residence, prepared by Reymundo J. Miranda, P.E., in an effort to support the demolition. the report provides for some dramatic reading with regard to the structural condition of the main residence, however no independent testing has been performed to corroborate the structural conclusions contained in the report.

The home has survived numerous storms, including the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, as well as hurricanes Andrew, Katrina and Wilma.

Dr. Hochstein’s wife is Lisa Hochstein, a cast member of The Real Housewives of Miami.


  1. langbro

    December 2, 2012 at 2:29 am

    more photos of 42 star island:

  2. langbro

    December 2, 2012 at 2:31 am

    Some renderings of the new replacement home that the Hochsteins wish to build can be found on the wonderful Curbed Miami website thanks to our friend Sean.

    The architect is Kobi Karp.


  3. Afi K. James

    December 2, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Makes Sense.

  4. miami1

    December 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    I hope the Miami Beach Design Review Board has enough sense to the deny the application! Only a dumb bimbo would want to demolish a beautiful and historic house like this one…

    • haley

      January 10, 2015 at 12:38 am

      Have you driven around star island? The old piece of junk wouldn’t have fit in. Everyone else has newly remodeled homes, why this was an issue, I have no idea.

  5. yellows2k

    December 4, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Opposition grows as ‘Real Housewives of Miami’ cast member seeks Star Island house teardown

    A plan by a reality TV star and her husband to replace a distinguished 1920s Star Island home by a noted Miami architect with a lavish mansion prompts ridicule and a drive to beef up Miami Beach’s preservation law.


    On Miami Beach’s super-exclusive Star Island, a Real Housewife of Miami and her plastic-surgeon husband want to build a palatial mansion so lavish it might make a Roman emperor blush.

    Only a splendid, if possibly rundown, Mediterranean manse by one of Miami’s great early architects stands in the way.

    Now Dr. Leonard and Lisa Hochstein’s plans to tear down the 1925 house, designed by Walter DeGarmo, is blowing up into the latest row over the fate of a historic building in preservation-minded Miami Beach.

    On Tuesday, the blueprints for the new Star Island house and the demolition request go to the city’s Design Review Board, which approves new construction. Because the house is not designated historic, the city’s famously strict preservation board has no say in the matter.

    Hey Sean, congratulations on making the Miami Herald today.

  6. langbro

    December 4, 2012 at 5:08 am

    For those who want to sign the petition to preserve the house that is mentioned above:


    Currently 137 signatures.

  7. sandman

    December 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    The board deferred a decision on the new Hochstein residence until the February meeting.

  8. yellows2k

    December 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    -MDPL submitted an application today to have the house declared to be a historic landmark, saying ‘It’s loss would be like knocking a tooth out of the Mona Lisa’

    -Hochstein calls it ‘ridiculous’ and says he would not have bought it if the home had been designated as historic


  9. yellows2k

    December 23, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    In Miami Beach, homes face teardown frenzy or preservationist zeal

  10. Sean

    December 24, 2012 at 6:20 am

    yellows2k, post: 3014, member: 8 wrote: In Miami Beach, homes face teardown frenzy or preservationist zeal

    Dennis and Susan Richard’s house (mentioned in the article) is magnificent. They’ve painstakingly restored it, and added some fantastic touches. It’s a very personal house too. You can tell they really love it.

  11. yellows2k

    January 15, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    NY Times: Demolition Plans Reignite Preservation Issue in Miami Beach


  12. sandman

    January 18, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Curbed is a reporting that Mike Latham, who grew up in Miami and founded a design firm in New York, wants to purchase the house


  13. langbro

    February 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    42 Star Island will now be required to appear before the Miami Beach HPB before it can be demolished.

  14. yellows2k

    February 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Messed-up mansion? Real Housewives star shows home to reporters to prove it should be torn down


  15. sandman

    March 5, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    The Miami Beach DRB has approved the design of the new Kobi Karp home for this property, allowing for the demolition of the historic home one the site.

  16. langbro

    April 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    The Miami Beach HPB has approved a plan to designate the home historic, which could block any demolition.


  17. Robert

    July 26, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Money always wins over hippie bullshit.

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