OCEAN CITY – The summer cottage owned by Captain Robert S. Craig and Virginia Lee Mason Craig has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The “Bay Breeze” cottage, located at 706 St. Louis Avenue in Ocean City, will become only the second property in Ocean City to be recognized by the nation, joining the St. Paul’s by the Sea Episcopal Church, which was listed in 2008.
The National Register of Historic Places recognizes districts, buildings, structures, objects and sites for their significance in American history, archeology, architecture, engineering and culture and identifies them as worthy of preservation.
The National Register is a program of the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service and is administered at the state level by the Maryland Historical Trust.
The National Register listing coincides with the 100th anniversary year of the birth of Robert S. Craig, who was born on July 11, 1918. Both Captain and Mrs. Craig are honored each year at the time of his birthday when the beach patrol sponsors the annual Robert S. Craig Boardwalk Swim and the Ginny Craig Quarter Mile Swim, which will both be held this year on July 14.
The National Register listing recognizes the significant role for more than 50 years that Craig, who died in 2009, had as a member and long-time captain of the Ocean City Beach Patrol. It also recognizes his wife, who died in 2008, as among the town’s pioneer women who established hotels and opened their summer homes to tourists and vacationers.
During the 1950s, Bay Breeze hosted summer tourists and from the 1960s until recent years the cottage provided summer housing for members of the beach patrol. During many years prior to the building of an official beach patrol headquarters, the Craig summer home served as an unofficial headquarters for the patrol.
Craig designed the house in 1949 and its construction was completed in 1950. Between 2012 and 2016, the cottage was restored to its 1950 appearance through the efforts of the Craigs’ son, Dr. Robert M. Craig, his wife, Carole, and their son, Christopher, a third-generation member and now alumnus of the beach patrol. The restoration was partially funded by a facade improvement grant from the Ocean City Development Corporation.
An invitation-only open house and celebration is planned for Wednesday, July 11 at the cottage to coincide with the unveiling of the National Register plaque.