Seaside

Length: 2159 words

Along the Gulf of Mexico is small town which has done a revival to the conventional traditions of family vacations spent at the beach (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). It has also launched a novel concept in terms of waterfront property development (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). This revolutionary and pioneering town came to be known as Seaside. It hearkens to a moment in time when towns are carefully built.

Seaside is a type of community where schools, restaurants, shops, and parks are easily accessible and within close proximity around the neighbourhood. Daryl and Robert Davis, founders of the Seaside development were inspired by the historical town and cities, 1920’s and 1930’s American style neighbourhoods as well as Mediterranean holiday villages (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). The concepts characterising the aforementioned communities are from where the foundation of the waterfront development was taken from.

The objective of the Seaside development is to revive the building standards of vernacular houses of the South but not in seclusion rather within the context of a small waterfront community (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates

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& Stout 2003; Patton 1991). The vision has already materialised. Families are already enjoying the benefits of this realised dream. More than a physical framework of streets and a stretch of houses, Seaside is a kind of community where residents converge unified by a common civic pride, recognising the significance of the public life as well as a sharing cultural mission.

In a manner of speaking, it has developed into a place which serves as a working example of what people have always envisioned their neighbourhoods, cities, and towns to become. Not so long ago, only a few liberal minded people have understood the concept behind this development (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). Many people did not believe in the feasibility of building a town from scratch and afterwards looking for prospective buyers of old-fashioned abodes located somewhere along the Gulf of Mexico.

Nevertheless, the presence of detractors did not hinder the novel concept of the Davis couple. Distinct from conventional resort communities based on market researches, projections, and financial plans, it begun with childhood recollections along the Gulf coast, an image of a real town, and a vision of reviving the old standards for building communities. In point of fact, the history of this town dates back to two generations (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). J. S. Smolian, Robert Daryl’s grandfather acquired an 80-acre strip of land at a far-flung town 55 years ago.

Smolian a creative thinker himself aimed of building a summer camp for his Pizitz employees. Pizitz in Birmingham is a department store owned by Smolian (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). Smolian’s partner mocked the idea of a summer camp believing that it was not exactly a practical thought. The piece of land was left untouched for many years. Only Smolian and his grandson reside in this isolated town along the Gulf of Mexico enjoying the beauty of undisturbed earth. The year was 1970 when Robert inherited the property from his grandfather (Seasidefl. om 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991).

His inheritance comes with his grandfather’s dream for 80-acre strip of land. A developer by profession, Robert is equipped with a practical experience to embark on a real estate business enterprise. The memories he has kept of those carefree summer days spent with his grandfather could also prove to be of good use to his venture. The Davis couple shortly board on a trip from Miami to Panhandle (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). The journey was deliberately slow and reflective.

Inspired by recollections, photographs, and sketches to historic towns, the Davis couple sought the help of architects Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Andres Duany to aid the in designing a conventional southern town (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). In the company of friends as well as former students, the husband and wife tandem positioned a camp in the vicinity in a Quonset hut belonging to Leah and Will Mason (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991).

The front porch of the abode served as the working studio (Seasidefl. om 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). The only thing more passionate besides the intellectual as well as artistic arguments were the games of beach volleyball held at Seaside. The partnership resulted in a plan of a town along the Gulf of Mexico. The group was able to come up with a significant set of documents which outlined an all-inclusive diagram of what was to be constructed at a certain spot, what specific materials must be employed during construction, and what suggested building techniques must be applied.

At the same time as the documents were prepared, Seaside had developed to incorporate two humble abodes situated on Tupelo Street as well as a beach pavilion constructed to serve as an access to the gulf while being a symbol of the neighbourhood sharing of the beach (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). The first few abodes and construction made instantly created a framework as well as a sense of place. The sales of properties were already beyond original projections come the middle part of the year 1980 (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991).

Prospective buyers coming from and around the Southeast region are able to understand the conventional sense of the beach community. At the start, a true town centre was a the central feature of the whole plan for the Seaside development (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). While the town centre is realised with plans for a string of loggias and a tower, the buildings work in synchronization to instil the square with the feeling of an impressive outdoor space (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991).

The initial commercial ventures of the town had humble beginnings. They bring to mind the picture of street bazaars and village farmers’ market. The Saturday Market at the town developed into a chain of permanent sheds adorned with exhibits of wares much like the Roman market during the days of old (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). A small town is made special by the traditions practiced by its residents. Dave Rauschkolb and Scott Witcoski launched Bud & Alley’s at the start of the year 1986 (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991).

Rauschkolb and Witcoski’s approach proved to be a success. Besides laying a new model of restaurants at Seaside, the two are also responsible setting one of the most significant rituals in the town which is the ringing of the rooftop bell during sunset (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). Starting the day at Modica Market is another Seaside tradition (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). It is described as a blend traditional assembly spot, corner grocery, wine store, coffee shop, and gourmet deli.

Following the trend are galleries, restaurants, and other shops. Ingenuity and uniqueness were displayed. At the moment, the concept of a crowded community in the midst of a town centre and pedestrian friendly lanes lined with clear-cut, cottages framed on wood, complete with furniture like rocking chairs and porch swings, built with picket fences almost not appears to be ahead of its time, nonetheless during its era, it was beyond doubt a revolutionary approach to urban planning and residential development.

Even though the community’s initial purpose was to fashion a better lifestyle, Seaside produced a new appreciation of conventional neighbourhoods and town planning known as New Urbanism (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). The function of the community in this development has evolved from the simple child recollecting memories of childhood into a convener of people concerned in advancing the state of art (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). In terms of design and construction, Seaside continues to be a work in progress.

Robert Davis voluntarily discloses that the surprise came along during the process of creating this community (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). A lot of them were unexpected. Nevertheless, there are those who proved to be quite positive. Even though early projects were usually the main responsibility of the developer, these days Robert Davis gives assistance and direction instead of offering direct control as in the traditional way. He believes that once started, all that is left to do is to remain right on track while keeping the focus fixed on the goal (Seasidefl. om 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991).

Acting in response to the need for a more effective cultural element, The Seaside Institute was founded in the year 1982 (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). The institute was set up as a non-profit organisation committed to the regeneration of public life. Various concerts and literary events, residency programs for both scholars and artists, and educational seminars all year round are sponsored by the institute.

Credit is due to Phyllis Scruggs Phyllis Bleiweis, as well as a supportive board and staff. It is because of them that the institute presents discussions on the subjects of architecture, town planning, new urbanism, as well as on the environment. Artistic, educational, and cultural events are also held on a regular basis. Such events are believed to be the envy of much bigger cities (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). Over the years, people have started to give a new meaning to the scope and place of this community along the Gulf of Mexico.

The residents, staff, and the guests have made this town their very own by means of setting up institution as well as erecting civil building. A school is a requirement in each and every town. In 1997, the Seaside Neighbourhood School was granted the charter school status by the Walton County School Board (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). Today, Seaside Neighbourhood School has nearly 100 students in its list of enrolees (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991).

When the school first opened, it was put up in modular classrooms on the Lyceum located in the middle of the downtown (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). Paramount Pictures is to be credited for securing a permanent location for the school. It was in the year 1996 when The Truman Show was filmed at Seaside (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). The Davis couple, together with the town council open-handedly gave all of the film’s proceeds to the construction of the school.

The Seaside Interfaith Chapel was built to serve as a place of worship located at the northernmost portion of the whole town was obviously built to serve as a place of congregation not solely for a particular denomination or religion (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). The Gothic inspired chapel was a design of Scott Merrill (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). The chapel, evidently without a symbol of a certain religion is intended serve as a venue for expression of all faiths.

Nowadays, the theatre and music industries are also thriving. The repertoire theatre has brought opera recitals, chamber music, jazz and other arts into the community over the years. A little less than three decades of existence is actually not so long when compared to the cities of Europe in all its grand splendour (Seasidefl. com 2006; Russel 2005; Le Gates & Stout 2003; Patton 1991). However, in it did not have to take so long for this community to significantly impact real estate development, architecture, and urban planning.

Even though the creative drifts architecture have receded and emerged from the time when this community was found, Seaside’s groundwork of a clear-cut design approach and urban consistency brought together with a touch of pleasurable has endured the dictates of fashion. Similarly, the rational approach to building employed by this community, which acts in response to climate and weather conditions, the careful arrangement of structures behind the ridge line has allowed the town to survive the might of tropical storms.

It has profoundly transformed traditional concepts of towns, streets, and neighbourhoods. In this light, it has been dubbed as the most excellent achievement in terms of design of its generation. For a couple of days or even weeks, guests may be able to experience living in this town at the same time as they can recollect their own visions of home in as far as how their places of origin could develop into a more refined and humane community.

Seaside has redeveloped the conventional standards of American town planning. Also, it has given a whole new meaning to the traditional concept of public life. It has influenced developers, designers, planners, zoning and urban planners, and traffic engineers, not in the light of an academic theory, but as a living prototype of neighbourliness, public civility and a perfect place to spend the day by the beach.

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