“This is truly a magical place” – Cottage #14, South Beach Suite
Cottage #14 began as a simple palm-frond hut hastily built during The Great Depression. Over the years, the once tiny hut evolved into a spacious light-filled cottage available for overnight lodging. Known now as “South Beach Suite” for its South Beach location and views, and as “McCloskey Cottage” for the family who lived there for four decades, the cottage was originally built in 1931 by a woman named Edith Henning.
Miss Henning first discovered Crystal Cove through its connection with the early film industry. The secluded cove was a favorite local stand-in for exotic settings back then, and Miss Henning came to Crystal Cove on one of those film shoots though her job. Her boss, the legendary Max Factor, had invented a special pancake face powder in 1918 to replace stage actor greasepaint for the emerging film medium.
Edith fell in love with Crystal Cove as a real setting, and began tent camping on the site where she eventually built a beach hut. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Edith gradually transformed her makeshift getaway into a palm-frond-covered retirement cottage with upstairs bedrooms, a garage, a deck, and an exterior wooden stairway down to the sand.
When Jane and Wally McCloskey bought Edith’s cottage in 1961, they continued to transform it with more extensive modern upgrades that included new plumbing and wiring, as well as quaint cosmetic accents such as hand-stenciled walls. Wally’s background as a contractor helped guide the cottage to a standard of construction that surpassed most of the other Cove Cottages.
Jane and Wally’s granddaughter, Jane Burzell, and her family, were the last full-time residents of McCloskey Cottage, and the family generously donated period furnishings and art to support the cottage’s new life as “South Beach Suite”, a place for future generations to also experience Crystal Cove’s natural beauty and iconic cultural history.