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About Property

  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Size 1,665 SQ FT
  • Lot Size 36,059 SQ FT
  • Offered at $3,400,000

About This Property

Introducing one of the last remaining Beachfront Coastal Cottages on Anna Maria Island Named Wave Crest. Enjoy reading about its history up to its current impeccable state.

The gulf side of the extreme north end of Anna Maria Island was never developed in the years preceding World War II. During WWII, the United States placed a radar station near Bean Point to protect the entrance to Tampa Bay while the gulf beaches were used to practice the famous beach invasions conducted throughout World War II.

At the end of WWII, the property surrounding the radar station was sold to a group of investors that platted a subdivision from Seagrape Lane north to Bean Point. Two of these lots were purchased by Alfred and Annie Chiles; the lot where the cottage sits today and also the lot across the street. The lot across the street was to be a back-up in case Mother Nature moved the beach inland. The couple fell in love with Anna Maria during many visits both before and after WWII and decided to build their dream cottage on the beach.

The Chiles name is likely familiar to visitors from Florida. Alfred Chiles was the uncle of U.S. Senator, then Florida Governor, Lawton Chiles who, along with his wife, Rhea, were frequent guests at Wave Crest. Their son, Ed, is a resident and resteraunteur on Anna Maria to this day. The Chiles family lived in the Lakeland, Florida area since the early 1900s.

Annie Chiles was the principal designer of Wave Crest as she knew exactly what she wanted. With a design in hand, she needed building materials and a builder. For the materials, she went to Alfred’s father who owned some old growth longleaf yellow pine on one of his properties near Lakeland. A quantity of timber was cut and trucked to a nearby sawmill where it was milled into all the necessary wood components of a beach cottage: Structural timbers, building studs, flooring, tongue and groove wall boards, and moldings.

Alfred was friendly with a French-Canadian cabinet maker in Lakeland that he thought would be up to the task of building the cottage. Mr. Cabot reviewed the rough plans and pronounced that he could indeed accomplish the task, but he was only available to do the work on the weekends. This was agreeable to Alfred and Annie so in 1950, Mr. Cabot and one helper commenced work on the cottage. Only the plumbing and electrical work was done by other parities over the 1½ years of construction.

In the time before air conditioning was common, Annie had designed a house that took advantage of its environment. The fully enclosed, but heavily windowed, Florida room captured the gulf breezes for cooling the house. Annie also knew that the winds came from the bay almost as much as the Gulf so a similar, but smaller, porch on the street side was constructed. The Florida room was separated from the living room by sliding glass doors so it could also be used as a private sleeping area if needed. The entry porch included a door to the kitchen area for the same reason. All of this was built on a raised foundation to keep air circulating under the house.

Bathrooms and walk-in closets run the entire length of the south side of the house (the walk-in shower in the master and walk-in closets were ahead of their time). This positioning allowed beach goers to enter the house without dripping water or tracking sand into the living areas. It also provided an air zone on the sun-drenched south side to keep the hot air out of the living areas. The bedroom windows to the Florida room and the pocket door between the bedrooms allowed the breezes to circulate freely through the house. Finally, the carport and permanent awnings on the house reduced heat absorption from direct sunlight.

In addition to the structure of the house, Mr. Cabot used the custom pine boards to make all the kitchen cabinets, the kitchen benches with storage underneath, the bookcase, and the built-in chests in the bedrooms all of which are still in use.

Since construction completed in 1952, there have been a few allowances for modern conveniences. Central air conditioning and heating have replaced the original propane powered heaters. City water and sewer have been connected. Initially, well water was used for washing and cleaning and drinking water was brought from Lakeland in a five-gallon glass jug that was kept in a tilting cradle in the entry porch. In early 2012 a dishwasher was installed in Mr. Cabot’s custom-built kitchen. This job was made all the more difficult due to the quality and strength of the original cabinet construction.

Construction was completed in November 1952. The garage with its bathroom and small sleeping area was added in short order. This garage apartment called the “little house” was sometimes used by the Chiles family if the main house was rented. It was also used as a maid’s quarters over the years. Fishing was a popular pastime so a small room known as the “fish house” was added to the side of the garage. It had been used for cleaning fish and storage but has since been removed.

Wave Crest remained in the hands of Alfred and Annie Chiles and their descendants for 60 years. In December, 2011 it was sold for the first time. The new owners are maintaining the cottage’s old Florida character while adding some modern conveniences along the way.

In 2016, a third bedroom and bathroom were added by enclosing the original carport and a deck with sliding door access was added on the beach side. Great care was taken to create the new space in the spirit envisioned by the Chiles family. Matching existing heart-pine flooring could only be accomplished by sawing custom flooring from logs raised from local rivers. The owner built a replica of the built-in drawers and vanity in the existing bedrooms from wood reclaimed from demolition of the carport.

The white tongue and groove ceiling in the hall and the new bathroom is the actual ceiling that existed outside in the carport for 60 years. It was left in place and built around. The floor in the entry hall is the floor laid down in the old porch 60+ years ago. It was discovered under three layers of linoleum and was only sanded and coated with clear protectant so that all former blemishes remain.

To update the kitchen, river reclaimed heart-pine tongue and groove boards were custom ordered to match the existing kitchen cabinets. The owner then hand built matching cabinets in place using this lumber, left over heart-pine flooring, and wood recovered from the previous demolition. Note that the drawers to the left of the refrigerator are the very drawers built by Mr. Cabot that were removed five years earlier to accommodate the dishwasher. These new cabinets enclose and panel the refrigerator, hold the old drawers, panel the dishwasher, and provide the tray cabinet, wine cabinet, and microwave station.

This beachfront coastal gem, is close to all Pine Ave shops, Eateries, Farmers Market and Piers on the Bay. You can enjoy the ultimate island-living while having the constant presence of the Blue, Green and Teal colors of the Magnificent waters of the Gulf of Mexico in your sight. Providing the quintessential ambiance for a sunny getaway or a blissful daily life.

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