Perhaps it was the dune and the beach leading to the gulf. Perhaps it was the warm gulf breezes. Perhaps it was just one of those beautiful Florida days with deep blue skies and puffy white clouds. Whatever it was, I instantly fell in love with this wonderfully renovated bungalow on the Gulf of Mexico. Certainly part of my love for this home comes from the story of its renovation.
Recently purchased by only its fourth owner in the century since it was built, the house, now called Idlewild Cottage, had fallen into quite a bit of disrepair. Let's face it, a century on Florida's gulf coast can be rough for any building, especially after the likes of the Tampa Bay Hurricane of 1921 came barreling through. In fact, since it was first built by Angel Cuesta (of Cuesta-Rey cigars) in 1919, Idlewild Cottage has seen its share of hurricanes.
But the home's less-than-perfect condition
didn't deter the new owners. Having played on the beach in front of this home as a child, one of them couldn't wait to undertake the renovation. And yes, it would have been far cheaper to have torn the house down and built new. But renovating the old home and keeping those memories alive was the right thing to do. As Ed and Julie, the new owners, have said, people walk by and thank them for saving the house. Surely a price can't be placed on that — especially as so many of these wonderful Florida bungalows have given way to much larger houses and condominium buildings.
So thanks to Ed, Julie, architect Andy Dohmen of Design Styles Architecture
Steve Perry of J.S. Perry & Co.
for keeping Idlewild Cottage
safe for future generations to enjoy from the beach nearby.