You can’t miss the nearly identical houses painted South Beach turquoise and yellow at 12th and Delaware. The quaint structures with the kitschy metal palm tree sculpture in front currently house the popular Cuba Cuba Café & Bar. Just around the corner on 12thAvenue is a nicely maintained red brick four-plex with lovely stained glass in the front doors. It was described by the architectural firm who oversaw its renovation in recent years as a “wonderful example of early American western residential architecture.”
In 1882, a Dutch immigrant by the name of Herman Ten Winkel purchased the property and began building the two houses on Delaware St. He moved his wife Emma and growing family into the house on the corner and maintained 1173 Delaware as a rental property. Herman finished the brick duplex on 12th Avenue in 1893. Besides being a landlord, Herman was a woodworker and cabinet maker (he had a shop at 1335 Lawrence for many years) and an inventor, taking out five patents between 1897 and 1992 for different methods of filtering water and oil. Ironically, the Ten Winkels and their friends came to refer to the two houses as “Ten Winkel Towers” because the extra half-story made them the tallest structures in the area.