In the 1950s, one of the cottages on the North Beach, Cottage #26, was purchased by Carl and Mary Browning. Originally from British Columbia, the Brownings used the cottage as a summer getaway, hosting countless celebrations for family and friends along the way.
One of the Brownings’ favorite traditions was an annual costume party and charades night, which they hosted in their living room. Each attendee had to wear a costume made of items found at the cottage or scavenged form the beach. One year, someone came dressed as a Crystal Cove shower—complete with a shower curtain, towel, and unwashed shampoo. This represented being caught in the shower after the water pressure got so low that the water cut off and the person was not able to rinse their hair!
Today, Cottage #26 is one of a handful of cottages waiting to be restored. Crystal Cove Alliance (CCA), and California State Parks are currently working on restoration plans and permitting for the final 17 cottages along the north beach. The projected $26 million dollar project ($13 million for infrastructure and $13 million for actual cottage restoration), will mark the culminating achievement that CCA has been striving towards for the past 16 years. For the past 3 years, CCA and State Parks have been working closely with the California Coastal Commission to secure the permits for the project. CCA is hopeful that the permits will be granted sometime this year.
As with all major endeavors at Crystal Cove, the timing of the project will be driven by the success of CCA’s fundraising initiatives. The California Coastal Commission and CCA have spent the past eight years negotiating $5 million in mitigation funding to benefit the final phase of the restoration. This assistance would greatly improve CCA’s ability to begin work on this project much sooner.
If you’re interested in becoming a part of a special community devoted to preserving the historical and cultural assets of Crystal Cove, we invite you to make a donation today or sign up to become a CCA member. Donations can be made in any amount and are completely tax-deductible.