Theses Master's

Salhaven, Florida: The Life and Death of a Retirement Community

Snell, Stephanie

This thesis focuses on the rise and fall of Salhaven, a retirement community in Jupiter, Florida, just North of West Palm Beach, established in 1956 for upholsterers belonging to the Upholsterers International Union (UIU). Although Salhaven became a model for other Union-based retirement communities, Salhaven only endured until 1971. Shortly after, there were almost no traces left. The goal of this thesis is to give a full account of Salhaven, as it has not been thoroughly researched until now.

The account will include why Salhaven failed while other Union retirement communities succeeded and why Salhaven was, and still is, important. It is crucial to understand and record what has been lost with Salhavenís demolition. Salhaven, and the study thereof, is important and interesting because it was the first Union retirement community in Florida, the architecture was strategically planned, it was the precedent for other retirement communities, and it existed in a short time span.

Although Salhaven is gone, this thesis hopes to first: bring attention to places like Salhaven so that historic preservationists can be aware of them, second: to have a full written account of Salhavenís history and significance so that it will not be forgotten, and third: to offer the possibility that fragments of Salhaven might exist and if so, they should be found and documented. Although Salhaven canít be preserved physically, this thesis hopes to preserve its memory.

While analyzing Salhaven, this thesis will compare the Salhaven community to company towns and garden cities, which are precursors to independent Union retirement communities, and other self-sustaining retirement communities in Florida. By examining Salhaven, and comparing the Salhaven community to other profession-exclusive retirement communities, this thesis will provide an understanding of 20th Century profession exclusive retirement communities in Florida.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Bollack, Francoise A.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
May 29, 2024