Are Well-Known Cottages on Niagara Ave Up for Rehab?

by on July 7, 2019 · 5 comments

in Ocean Beach

There are some stories out there that we try to follow-up on. One of them is about the courtyard cottages at 4938-4948 1/2 Niagara Avenue.

The cottages and the well-known “landscaping” out in front – with bathroom fixtures filled with plants – are psuedo-landmarks. They’ve been there for decades and somebody created a small corner of delight with their landscaping technique.

Owned by Ken and Maggie Harvey – who have passed away (Ken in 2017 and Maggie in 2012), the cottages are now in the hands of a family trust or trustee Doug Harvey, one of their sons. The cottages sit on a 5,179 square foot lot.

Neighbors and local observers fear the worst.

The Courtyard cottages. Photos by Bob Edwards

They think Doug is intent on a total makeover. They believe the first to go will be the famous landscaping out front, then “a Bird Rock vibe” to come soon thereafter, followed by large rent increases and a “better class” of tenants and short term vacationers.  And they fear the long term residents who have been there for many years, some for decades, will be forgotten.

We want to reach out to Doug Harvey to see what his plans are. Are the stories true? In the meantime, watch this space – and if you have a moment, go by the cottages and enjoy the inviting landscaping.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Doug Blackwood July 17, 2019 at 9:21 pm

Those landmarks are a joy to behold, every time I walk by: thats OBeautification! Good tenants may consider them an asset to the community: I do!


Oldob July 18, 2019 at 5:32 am

I’ll reach out to Doug:

Hey Doug, feel free to do whatever it is you want with YOUR family’s property and enjoy your personal property rights granted to you under the law.

Best of luck!

P.S. It seems that at least frank and one other person really like your parents’ landscaping choices. It would be nice of you to offer the materials to those interested so that they may be preserved somewhere else rather than discarded. That way everyone wins!!


Mayapur Chandra July 18, 2019 at 10:14 am

Please do not pursue contacting Doug Harvey, as it will only make my situation worse.


OBkid July 18, 2019 at 6:50 pm

As long as not Short Term Vacation Rentals – do what thou wilt


Billie Maisonet January 21, 2023 at 6:13 am

My Grandmother lived in the front cottage for decades and those bathtub planters were her creation! I believe they’ve been there since around 88 or maybe even longer. I’m 40 yrs old now and remember trying to help her.
OB Granny was a staple in the community and loved on many who needed it.
I have many many memories of that garden and courtyard that I share with my children often. I got married and had to leave my beloved SD but I still go on maps to make sure they’re still where they belong rather frequently. It would be heartbreaking if they do a remodel. I feel like it should almost be an OB landmark by now


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