One of our missions is to identify the historic resources remaining in Corona del Mar today, so we decided to start with one of our rapidly dwindling resources - the original cottages of the Flower Streets. Back in the 1960's, the Flower Streets were predominantly filled with these eclectic and interesting cottages and it was estimated that there were about 1,800 of them at that time. As the land values have skyrocketed and developers have seen the opportunity to make money by buying them and bulldozing them to put in modern tract home style condos, their numbers have greatly declined.
While surveying the Flower Streets and surrounding area in Spring 2020, we identified 540 pre-1960 cottages remaining. Uncertainty from Covid initially slowed down demolitions but 16 more cottages were demolished over the last 12 months, bringing that number down to 524. As of now, 70% of the original cottages have been torn down and less than 1 in 4 of the lots in the Village have a cottage on them. It is expected that by mid-2022, the number of cottages will fall below 500.
With the numbers falling rapidly, we wanted to identify all the remaining cottages, highlight some of the best examples, and celebrate them and their history while we still have them to enjoy on our strolls through the neighborhood. After identifying the all of the remaining cottages, we put together a panel of a dozen judges from a variety of backgrounds (including a former mayor, several Newport Citizens of the Year, and a renowned architect) and CdM experiences (several longtime residents with 50+ years of living in the Village and some younger residents with different perspectives) to rank each of the cottages. Each judge brought their own perspective on the importance of each of the cottages to our community and the scores were averaged to create our Top 100.
Our next step is to dig into the history of each of these cottages and tell their story. It is a rather large undertaking so if you have any information on any of the cottages - especially old photos! - or have any interest in helping with the research on any of the cottages, please reach out and let us know.
The cottages that we have researched already and are ready to tell their story, will be listed here - click on them to learn about their history. These are living stories so if you have any additional information, memories, or photos on any of them, please share so we can continue to update and improve the information that we have on each of them.