Cottage 14 – South Beach Suite

Picture of the exterior of Cottage #14, Crystal Cove State ParkNamed for its location right on the beach, Cottage #14, “South Beach Suite” was originally built in 1931 by a woman named Edith Henning. The second permanent cottage constructed on Crystal Cove’s South Beach, Cottage #14 offers spectacular ocean access and views, as well as iconic Cove history.

“Miss Henning,” as she was known during her thirty years at Crystal Cove, first discovered the Cove during its glamorous Hollywood era. The Cove was a favorite location for filmmakers looking for a local “tropical” setting, and her boss, the legendary cosmetics tycoon Max Factor invented a special formula of pancake makeup for the emerging film industry. Legend has it that a film shoot first brought Edith to the Cove, and she fell in love with the real-life location. She began tent camping at the beach site where she later built a palm frond hut on a concrete slab. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Miss Henning gradually transformed her makeshift getaway into a light-filled cottage with upstairs bedrooms, a garage, a deck, and an exterior wooden stairway down to the sand. For many years, the exterior still remained covered in palm fronds, as encouraged by Cove managers to maintain the look of a remote tropical setting.

When Jane and Wally McCloskey bought Edith’s cottage lease in 1961, they continued to add modern upgrades including new plumbing and wiring. Wally’s background as a contractor helped guide the cottage to a standard of construction that surpassed most of the other Cove cottages, but this piecemeal tinkering was still consistent with the vernacular architecture of the Cove.

Jane and Wally’s granddaughter Jane Burzell and her family were the last full-time residents of Cottage #14. Jane added interior accents like hand-stenciling in the kitchen, and the family generously donated period furnishings that included the 1940s stove, original grates for the fireplace, and a replica of the clock that kept time on the mantel for more than four decades. Jane also allowed her collection of artwork to be copied and hung in the cottage.

In addition to its careful restoration and glorious location, South Beach Suite also has the only king-sized bed at Crystal Cove cottages! From its early days as a Depression-era palm frond hut to today’s vintage seaside lodging, South Beach Suite continues to inspire new generations with the history and beauty of Crystal Cove.


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