Fast forward from 1930 to 2010 and here we are: lets take a tour....
To get into the park you need to park on the North side of Pacific Coast Highway and walk through a tunnel under the Highway and down to the beach. It's a short walk but there are shuttles if you need them.
The entire project underway today, is a joint effort by many non-profit entities. The goal is to ensure public access to this important and historically significant place along the California coast.
When the project is finally completed it will encompass the restoration of 46 cottages as well as provide much needed educational and marine research facilities.
As you get closer to the beach some of the old palms and tropical plants that were planted in the 20s and 30s for the movie sets are very noticeable. A few of the more famous movies shot at this location were Treasure Island, The Sea Wolf and Stromsweapt. The idea was to recreated the tropics in Southern California. There were no power lines or streetlights so it worked perfectly as a movie set.
The first few cottages you see are now the park offices and visitors center
Everywhere you look there are examples of intact classic beach colony architecture. This really is the last survivor of its type as most commutnies like this gave way to development with the increase in population.
The little store sells artwork and fun little quirky collectibles
The first cottage you can enter on the beach is what was once the store and soda fountain in the 50s. It is actually the newest of all of the cottages. It is used now
as a teaching and outreach facility for school children and daily visitors.
How cute is that little stove?
They found dozens of prohibition liquor bottles from the rum running days as the renovations got under way.
Is that the most wonderful sign!!!
Below is cottage 27, built in 1931 and available for overnight lodging. It also sports a great deck.
As you walk farther down the beach you can really see how much will be necessary to bring this project full circle. While there is still money coming in, some of the funds earmarked for Crystal Cove have been use elsewhere.
I'm sure there is a concern that if many of the cottages are not delt with soon, especially those right on the sand, time and mother nature will slowly eat away at what is left
This is cottage 11, built in the late 1920s, it is one of the few that has more elaborate wood work and trim. The interior boasts tongue and groove knotty pine trim and a circular fireplace This cottage will eventually become overnight lodging but wow, how much work will this one be.
Above is the Carter cottage #7. When the schooner Esther Buhne wrecked on Balboa Point in 1927 several cottage were said to have been built from the teak wood that washed ashore and this was probably one of them.
The coveites got their mail right down on the beach!!
Part of the old wooden board walk below.
At the farthest south end of the cove sits the Beaches cottage, made famous in 1988 in the movie starring Bette Middler. Off by itself, nestled into the cliff side, it has wonderful views of the tide pools. This iconic house will eventually become the marine research facility for scientics and graduate students.
This is my favorite and I cant wait to see it all fixed up. Something about the brown shingle and the turquoise trim is so inciting. The house has a lot of trees and old succulents around the property, which just add to the charm
I love how the ceiling rafters on the porch were painted that great turquoise
Can you imagine how many wonderful summers of BBQs, swimming and great conversation happened in this little home?
This cottage is often painted and photographed because of the location and the classic beach vernacular architecture.
Above are the tide pools just steps away from the porch of the Beaches cottage
One of the things you notice troughtout the park is the vegetation. It is so lush and colorful
I loved these nasturtiums growing in old lobster traps
Another little cottage, dressed up in green and white with old glory peeking out of the window
Each of the cottages has a story to tell and I suppose that is what makes this such an interesting place to stay, especially with children. Hi-de-Ho neighbor!
So quintessential "beachy"
It really is hard to believe at times that this is a state park and we can stay in these for around $100 per night
Even if you come for the day to enjoy the beach, there is so much to do. You can go up this little trail to the famous Shake Shack on PCH for a sandwich. They have picnic tables and the view is amazing
The cove also has a nice little restaurant called the Beachcomber, with a great bar and lots of outdoor seating
Each of the 46 cottages will eventually be overhauled and upgraded. They are literally being taken apart, piece by piece, and put back together again.
What an amazing legacy this will be for the future. There is a wonderful sense of the carefree spirit of the past, something very hard to find in 2010.
I hope you enjoyed this tour of Crystal Cove. I spent a great afternoon just walking around and looking at the buildings. It really is fascinating.
For more information go to www.crystalcovestatepark.com
Have a great week