North Beach Construction Update – April 2023


We’re thrilled to be making significant progress on the Heritage Legacy Project for California, which aims to restore the 17 remaining cottages on the North Beach at Crystal Cove State Park!

The project remains on time and on budget. Most of the work on the first four groups of cottages is now substantially complete and work has begun on the five cottages in Group 2. We anticipate opening the Group 1 cottages, which consists of five rental units, once we have completed the final punch lists – hopefully soon!

The cost of the North Beach project is estimated to reach $55M. Of this, $48M has already been secured, and we are on the path to securing the last $7M through federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits. The process of historic restoration is delicate, unpredictable, and time- and labor-intense work.

The 12-acre Historic District at Crystal Cove is on the National Register of Historic Places in large part because the cottages are one of the last remaining intact examples of vernacular beach architecture, a style of architecture that reflects a sense of place, where the context in which the building sits informs its design.

Ultimately, historic restoration is not just about rebuilding a structure, it’s about rebuilding its story. Throughout the restoration process, The Conservancy has worked closely with State Park historians digging deep into the historic archives and meeting with many of those who lived in the cottages. The crew has been able to capture the character of each cottage during those summer tent camping heydays, and as each cottage is completed, with its original quirks preserved, one gets a sense of the joy and respite the cottages provided to the families who built them.

As we inch nearer to completion, because the restoration will create a sustainable recurring stream of earned revenue to invest in education and conservation programs, The Conservancy is refocusing on expanding our science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, which currently serve about 10,000 students each year – most of them from lower income schools and communities.

Our primary programmatic focus is the development of a fully-fledged kindergarten through college coastal engineering program that will eventually be hosted in North Beach Cottage #20, our first hostel-style accommodation.

Thank you to our North Beach donors – none of this would have been possible without your support. You – the individual supporters, the families and family foundations, our neighbors and our friends – were the catalyst for all of it.

For more information on the project please contact:

Cindy Otto
Director of Donor Relations, Crystal Cove Conservancy
949-376-6200 x 204 or


Get Crystal Cove in your inbox!