zzz - Lorea Thomson
| Realtor
Updated on
Published in Community Features


Some of the pictures are still in existence; Salhaven Village’s official opening was in December of 1956.  According to the Time Magazine article, date December 17, 1956 “a band played and an American Legion color guard attended the flag-raising event held in the newly paved Betsey Boss Plaza.”  The Betsy Ross Plaza does not exist anymore, and Jonathan’s Landing and Jupiter Medical Center stand in its place.

The 634-acre concept was unique.  Residents of this tropical community would be union retirees living on union pensions and social security.  The planned community would have an outpatient clinic and a convalescence building (located where Jupiter Medical Center is currently located).  Named after Sal B. Hoffman, the President of the Upholsters International Union, it was to cost $ 5 million upon completion.  There were 240 air-conditioned, furnished cottages to be built, 10 apartment lodges and 15 swimming pools.   A one-bedroom cottage rental was $50.00 monthly and $12.00 for each additional bedroom per month.  Apartments were available for rent at $35.00 per month.  Visit for more information and photos.

Developers wanted a modern tropical feel so they asked leaders in architecture for design assistance. One was renowned Florida architect Rufus Nims.  He was one of the “modern is regional movement” and “he experimented with building materials and construction technologies in his modern tropical houses.”

Born in Pensacola in 1913, Rufus Nims went to North Carolina State to study Journalism.  After a boring first year, he paid $5 for a Ford truck and headed to Oklahoma to work construction with his father.  After his summer on the job, he decided to change his major to architecture, noting that building had an insightful affect him.  He graduated in 1934 with a degree in Architectural Engineering.

Nims opened his own firm in Miami in 1943 and is best known for designing the Howard Johnson motel template.  He is also one of a couple architects “who defined the modern tropical house”. 

When the Salhaven Village closed operation in 1971 they sold to Burning Foot, Ltd.  Part of the land became Jupiter Medical Center and the rest of the land was sold to the Alcoa Company.  The Alcoa Company later developed what is now Jonathan's Landing.

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