Crystal Cove Conservancy (The Conservancy), the nonprofit public benefit organization partnered with Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Coast, has announced that the last tranche of funding has been secured for the North Beach Cottage Restoration Project, allowing the first group of eight newly restored North Beach cottage rental units to be open for public stays.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for not just The Conservancy, but Crystal Cove State Park, the State of California, our Founder Laura Davick, who spearheaded the fundraising campaign, and the entire Cove Community. None of this would be possible without the individual supporters, the families and foundations, our neighbors and our friends” said Kate Wheeler, President & CEO of Crystal Cove Conservancy. “The addition of the newly restored cottages means we will have eight more rental units ready to welcome visitors to Crystal Cove, providing additional support for The Conservancy’s extensive STEM education and conservation programs.”
With investment from Bank of America, The Conservancy secured the last $10 million for the $55 million restoration project by securing Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits on the project, a method that incentivizes investment in restoration projects on historically significant structures, thereby providing a means to secure capital for construction and tax relief to the investor.
“With the support of our partners at Bank of America, who are investing in the North Beach Cottage restoration project, we’ve reached the funding finish line,” said Austin Barrow, Crystal Cove Conservancy Chief Operating Officer. “We look forward to expanding our work with Bank of America, who already support our STEM education programs through the foundation, and with California State Parks to ensure that the restoration of these remaining cottages will allow them to be enjoyed by the public for years to come.”
Requiring a unique collaboration between community, corporations and political leadership, the full funding of the historic restoration project was led by Crystal Cove Conservancy Founder Laura Davick as the chair of the capital campaign, Assembly Member Cottie Petrie-Norris’ efforts in helping The Conservancy secure over $30 million in state funding, as well as Bank of America for investing in the historic project and closing the campaign to fund the project.
“Crystal Cove is a true gem along the California coast, and I’m thrilled to have helped preserve these unique pieces of history, so that visitors from all over can experience the magic of Crystal Cove State Park with a getaway at the beach cottages,” said Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris. “It’s places like this that offer lifelong memories and experiences for people of all backgrounds, and it is imperative that they be saved for generations to come.”
The eight rental units will open in time for Thanksgiving. Like the rest of the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages, reservations can be made at ReserveCalifornia.com. For detailed information on the opening of the North Beach cottages and information on how to reserve a cottage, visit The Conservancy’s website at www.CrystalCove.org.
The first group of newly restored cottages includes:
Cottage #3 / Shell Crafter’s Cottage: Shell Crafter’s is painted in a rich teal and cream, with touches of coral, and decorated with a shell motif throughout. The sunroom contains a sofa that turns into a twin daybed. In the dining area there are fishing poles overhead for a touch of whimsy. The cottage features two large bedrooms and one bathroom, as well as a side and beachfront deck where guests can watch the ocean waves roll in.
Cottage #3 ½ / Teacher’s Retreat: Teacher’s Retreat faces directly toward the beach with large windows in the living area that open out to expansive ocean views. The floor is original wood and there are antique quilts featured in the living room and bedroom. Teacher’s Retreat includes one bedroom with a full-size bed and a pull-out couch in the living room, along with a U-shaped kitchen tiled in a turquoise color that mimics the hues of the sea. The tropical curtains of hibiscus and flamingo, and the skylight in the kitchen and bath, create a light and airy space. Guests will enjoy relaxing in the small backyard or a beachfront deck.
Cottage #4A / Flotsam and Jetsam: Flotsam and Jetsam is a first story cottage boasting expansive ocean views, as the classic French windows open to let the sea breeze in. The original wood floors, decorative fireplace, ceiling fans and windows provide a light sundrenched feel. This nautical-themed cottage features a living area with two sleeper sofas, a bedroom with a full-sized bed, large bathroom, and a kitchen with views of the beach and cliffs. Guests can enjoy a barbeque on the outdoor back patio and relax on a spacious beachfront deck.
Cottage #4B / Captain’s Quarters: Captain’s Quarters is a cozy and charming second story cottage decorated in a nautical theme throughout. The windows in the kitchen area face the ocean, while the dining and living area look out towards the beach and cliffs. The cottage includes a twin bed with trundle pullout to make two twin beds and a second full bed off the kitchen area, as well as a bathroom that contains a shower and claw foot tub. Guests can also enjoy a barbeque on a private patio.
Cottage #6 / Hawaiian Bungalow: In the Hawaiian Bungalow, guests will relax to the sounds of the crashing surf in this South Pacific-themed cottage. It features an ocean view front patio and sunroom with panoramic ocean views. Inside guests will find newly restored hardwood floors and thatch accents as they drift back to simpler times. The cottage features one bedroom, one bath, with two full-size pull-out sofas and a full bed in the bedroom.
Cottage #7 / Little Grass Shack: Guests will journey back in time as they enter the fire engine red Little Grass Shack located just steps from the rolling waves. The living room boasts an open feel in this light and bright gem. The cottage features two bedrooms with a full-sized and twin-sized bed, a full-sized sofa, and one bathroom with a shower and bathtub.
Cottage #8 / Rustic Retreat: Offering a generous private deck just above the sand, Rustic Retreat is a two-bedroom, one bath cottage that is perfect for family dinners and entertaining in the spacious ocean view living area. Sleeping six people with two single beds in the bedrooms and two full-sized sofa beds in the living room.
Cottage #12 / North Beach Tower: North Beach Tower is positioned for maximum ocean views. Unique in themselves, the windows along the front of the cottage are reclaimed windows from retired street cars that open to let the sea breeze in. Painted in a distinctive celery green hue, the vintage fabrics on the curtains and chairs and the rattan furniture in the living area lend a tropical feel. Guests will find two downstairs bedrooms with full beds, one bathroom, and a U-shaped entertainment bar perfect for gathering with loved ones during sunset.
Throughout the restoration process, The Conservancy has worked closely with California State Park historians digging deep into the historic archives and meeting with many of those who lived in the cottages, capturing the character of each individual cottage.
“Each cottage has its quirks and unique details – original floors, vintage quilts, decorative antique pieces and more. When a guest walks into a historic cottage at Crystal Cove, they are stepping into the last remaining intact example of the vernacular architecture style that was prevalent in California’s early 20th century beach communities, allowing visitors to step back into a bygone era,” said Wheeler. “Ultimately, the historic restoration of the cottages is not just about rebuilding structures, it’s about rebuilding the stories that live within the foundation of each cottage.”
Additional funds for the project were contributed by community philanthropists, Crystal Cove Conservancy members, the California Coastal Commission, the California State Coastal Conservancy, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the WWW Foundation, and numerous other individual and foundation supporters.
The North Beach Restoration Project is estimated to be complete in 2026, restoring the remaining 17 historic seaside cottages and completing the preservation of the iconic Crystal Cove State Park Historic District.
For more information about the North Beach Restoration Project and the North Beach Cottages, visit www.CrystalCove.org/BeachCottages.
About Crystal Cove Conservancy: Crystal Cove Conservancy works to protect the historic, natural, and cultural resources of Crystal Cove State Park. Our unique public/private partnership with California State Parks means that all revenue raised is reinvested into programs that use the park as an outdoor classroom for STEM education. These programs will cultivate our planet’s next generation of environmental stewards, ensuring that Crystal Cove and places like it live on for generations. For more information, visit CrystalCove.org.