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Thread: Seaside FL

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Seaside FL

    Last Saturday we stopped in Seaside for lunch and a brief walk through the main commerical area. Here's what we saw.





















    Annoyingly insensitive

  2. #2
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    My wife and I walked through Seaside a few years back. Although it was over New Years and it was a rather windy, cool day, the place was genearlly deserted, as depicted in RJ's pics.

    It almost has a Hollywood movie set feel to it. In fact, wasn't it used in a movie a few years back?

    I've always assumed Seaside has turned into a second-home-type community. Perhaps I'm wrong.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    My wife and I walked through Seaside a few years back. Although it was over New Years and it was a rather windy, cool day, the place was genearlly deserted, as depicted in RJ's pics.

    It almost has a Hollywood movie set feel to it. In fact, wasn't it used in a movie a few years back?

    I've always assumed Seaside has turned into a second-home-type community. Perhaps I'm wrong.
    It actually was fairly busy that day with pedestrians...I'm just not good at, or feel comfortable with, taking pictures of strangers.

    I think ZG mentioned The Truman Show was filmed there.

    I would estimate half the cars had out of state license plates. So yes, it's a second home community.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    A seaside resort in Florida full of secon homes?!?

    The horror....the horror!!

    Think of the children!!

    C'mon guys......

    [to moderators: I'm sure there is an older thread on this polace -- could they be emrged??]

    On the picures themselves:

    1. I really like the general feel/architecture -- good pics
    2. RichmondJake: lose yer inibitions man!! Populated pictures look much more interesting, I never get phorographers who take architectural pictures ONLY after shopoing everyone away!!
    Even Polidori, who is a kick-ass photographer indulges in that "post-Neutron bomb" thing
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  5. #5
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    You know going to America was an ephiphany for me. It really made me realise how much i appreciated europe. These pictures really have reinforced that. I'm going to look out the window now... ah thats better.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Y’all really hate Florida, don’t you? I’ll never understand why--maybe because you haven't visited or lived here? Florida is not all amusement parks and South Palm Beach. For all I care, you Brits can just sit around in your dank, sweaty castles with the view your denuded countryside, the rotting peat bogs, and no-tooth villagers. Stay on your side of the pond.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Who's prejudiced now? Yep, most of you are!!

    RJ made a salient point to me regarding some of his posts recently. We can post umpteen pics of anything in FL and it gets blown off in favor of slum pics of Cleveland. Really, guys. It seems to be a given on Cyburbia that anything in the south, and especially in Florida, is JACKSH*T and so non-planner worthy. No views. But a slum in a northern or midwest city? Sure, because the south doesn't count!

    I've tried to do this before. EVERY state in this country has it's touristy places but just because we have Disney WE ARE BAD AND ALL SPRAWL. People in Connecticut think they are soo cool and they are so snobby but they have Mystic and Plymouth; god, exploit American History. Every state has that crap.

    I took a new route to take my mom home yesterday and went thru a cool area with small towns and old motels with the '40's and '50's signs, still operating, and great old buildings and guess what? I didn't take one single pic because I'd post "Old Towns in Florida" and all of you planning fashionistas/snobs/holier-than-thou's will say "OHHH Florida..."

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Woah there nellies!

    RichmondJake: I'm not sure that anything I posted indicates a 'hatred’ or even a dislike of Florida. My point was that, as a major holiday destination it’s not surprising or, somehow, ‘wrong’ for many properties to be second homes…

    Zoning Goddess: As far as sprawl goes, I don’t have any hard figures but, insofar as a greater % of Florida was built up in the car age than, say, Connecticut, it tends to be more sprawly but I don’t think that this is a criticism of Florida or Floridians per se.

    And I would be very interested in seeing some pics of old-town Florida, actually.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  9. #9
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    It does appear that there is a certain prejudice against Florida in that it doesn't contain any truly urban or planning-friendly places, and that it's all glamour and shiny. I'm sure many people get their idea of what Florida is all about by watching CSI: Miami, or by visiting the Orlando/Disney area.

    This isn't fair, but does seem to be the case.
    Last edited by btrage; 31 Oct 2007 at 10:23 AM. Reason: Removed quote

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    My issue with Seaside, having never been to it, is not that it is a second home community or in Florida, or such. Simply the same problem as with most New Urbanist (or non-New Urbanist and simply attractive) communities - this type of design detail costs $$$ and there is therefore less affordable to the common guy.

    I read an article once about combining NU concepts with less expensive communities (not HOPE VI, subsidized communities, which are a different animal) - bringing good urban design to the masses. The basic idea was to have front porches and build-to lines, but not obsess about architectural details, window types, etc. The livability is in the overall workability of the area. Does it have sidewalks? Does it have homes that feel like someone is home?

    On another note, I am one of those folks who feel that we have a lot of older areas that already have urbanism and that we could pay more attention to them than to new subdivisions in the country. But that's another issue, and clearly if there is to be new development on greenfields its better that they have good urban design than bad.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian chasqui's avatar
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    Seaside

    I have been to Seaside, and to tell you the truth, it IS a well designed, walkable, enriching place. And, like most people who have been there, I was a tourist. I spent a week and rented a house. The houses are expensive. They are not expensive because of the materials. They are not expensive because of the design (per se). They are expensive because there is a demand for these houses. People (like me) will go and rent them. People would like to live or vacation there. So, are the homes 'out of the hand of the common folk'? You bet. But not because the houses have porches or walkable alleys. Its because these homes can be income properties at a great destination on the beach. Would the same design elements make for a better development in a 'non-touristy' place? I think so.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chasqui View post
    I have been to Seaside, and to tell you the truth, it IS a well designed, walkable, enriching place. And, like most people who have been there, I was a tourist. I spent a week and rented a house. The houses are expensive. They are not expensive because of the materials. They are not expensive because of the design (per se). They are expensive because there is a demand for these houses. People (like me) will go and rent them. People would like to live or vacation there. So, are the homes 'out of the hand of the common folk'? You bet. But not because the houses have porches or walkable alleys. Its because these homes can be income properties at a great destination on the beach. Would the same design elements make for a better development in a 'non-touristy' place? I think so.
    Very well said chasqui.

    After reading some of the other posts, I would say that Seaside gets a bad rap because it was so groundbreaking in terms of what it was trying to accomplish. I know that as an undergrad, Seaside was held up as the shining example of what was going to save the planning world.

    Seaside becoming a vacation/second-home community is no different than the gentrification that occurs in residential historic districts. I think I may take another trip to the panhandle to get a second opinion.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chasqui View post
    I have been to Seaside, and to tell you the truth, it IS a well designed, walkable, enriching place. And, like most people who have been there, I was a tourist. I spent a week and rented a house. The houses are expensive. They are not expensive because of the materials. They are not expensive because of the design (per se). They are expensive because there is a demand for these houses. People (like me) will go and rent them. People would like to live or vacation there. So, are the homes 'out of the hand of the common folk'? You bet. But not because the houses have porches or walkable alleys. Its because these homes can be income properties at a great destination on the beach. Would the same design elements make for a better development in a 'non-touristy' place? I think so.
    Fair point- maybe it is just a supply problem that can be addressed as more well-designed communities come on line. It just seems to me that there should be a middle ground between NU and anti-NU that finds some key issues to try to address that everyone can agree on.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    Fair point- maybe it is just a supply problem that can be addressed as more well-designed communities come on line.
    Bingo!!

    That is it, exactly.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    It does appear that there is a certain prejudice against Florida in that it doesn't contain any truly urban or planning-friendly places, and that it's all glamour and shiny. I'm sure many people get their idea of what Florida is all about by watching CSI: Miami, or by visiting the Orlando/Disney area.

    This isn't fair, but does seem to be the case.
    Again, that is SOOO wrong. SOOOO wrong. Nobody has a clue. It is not all "shiny". And we do have "urban" areas. For god's sake, like any other state we have rural farming areas, small towns, medium sized cities, etc. Beautiful shorelines and landscapes. It is not wall to wall Wal Marts and theme parks. FL is almost 1400 miles from Key West to Pensacola and every section of the state is different. The town I grew up in has a wonderful retail downtown, very walkable, surrounded by low-rise condos, grid street system, and older homes around a lake. Farmer's market every Saturday (which they can do because it doesn't freaking freeze here). Museums on the main drag. Geez, it sounds like M'ski's neighborhood doesn't it? But it's in FL so it doesn't exist. Or ya'll don't care to find out about it. Guess it would taint your perceptions. There are dozens of small to medium, planning-friendly communities is FL that are a delight to visit. (I'll admit the big cities are crap for the most part). I know our communities are NOT AS OLD AS BOSTON OR NYC FOR THE MOST PART (BUT OF COURSE WE DO GET TO CLAIM ST AUGUSTINE YOU HISTORY SNOBS). But my hometown has been around since at least 1885, the oldest pics I've found of it.

    And of course no other state has s*itholes like Dan's town next door?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    I guess I need to look at some other Florida related threads, because I'm really not seeing much hating on Florida going on in this one. One post that bashes the US in general, but other than that...

    Just sayin...

    I'll be in Seaside next week, only my second trip to Florida, so I'll reserve my judgement until then

  17. #17
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    It is funny how so many people get the such a negative idea about FL. It is such an amazing place, with just about everything to offer, big cities, small towns, beaches, woods and rivers... it is just an amazing place.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  18. #18
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I think much of the hatred of Florida and other southern states is driven by the intolerance and ignorance of the liberal elitists in this country.

    I think the attitude is that if it's not a yuppie-friendly place like Austin, Charleston, Miami, or Raleigh, than surely it must be filled with Republicans, evangelicals, Confederate flags, Bob Evans restaurants, Wal-Marts, and sprawl. Oh, the horror!

  19. #19
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    Ok....let's keep it on topic and stop the cultural/philosophical attacks.

    Let's talk about the qualties of Seaside.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    I think much of the hatred of Florida and other southern states is driven by the intolerance and ignorance of the liberal elitists in this country.

    I think the attitude is that if it's not a yuppie-friendly place like Austin, Charleston, Miami, or Raleigh, than surely it must be filled with Republicans, evangelicals, Confederate flags, Bob Evans restaurants, Wal-Marts, and sprawl. Oh, the horror!
    smarty-pants...

    We had not gotten out of the car and walked around Seaside until 2 weeks ago (well, with a bunch of NUrb places in a row, you can't do them all at once!). Seaside has the biggest "downtown"; it was really busy, restaurants were both on the beachside and not, lots of shops. What I liked: the pic RJ posted of the weird spiral staircase (a woman stopped when she saw us looking at it and said "Of course, it's the Stairway to Heaven") was over an architect's office; off a heavily wooded square next to another square filled with art galleries. I did not expect that. I had been to Celebration, built by Disney, shortly after it "opened" and it was a real disappointment. But I was pleasantly surprised by Seaside. It reminded me of Jekyll Island in GA (which is pretty old for the southeast...); people on bikes all over, cool little shops, but a lot more to do.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    A few more...

    ZG and I were over in Walton County today and drove back on SR 30A. On this chilly day we took a few more pictures in Seaside.







    This might me my favorite.






    And perhaps the smallest house in Seaside.



    Just east of Seaside is the town of Alys Beach. A small community but growing. Not to my liking at all. Brutal, stark designs. Almost painful.





    The community pool center.




    Back to housing.









    Annoyingly insensitive

  22. #22
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    I dunno, I think those buildings at Alys beach are beautiful. Of course you'll need to wear welder's goggles to walk around there on a sunny day to prevent retinal burns! it wont seem so stark as the trees fill out more. The buildings really LOOK like they could weather a hurricane. It looks similar to what I've seen in pics of older parts of Bermuda.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  23. #23
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    ^The buildings are decent enough, just a bit too much white. Also it doesn't look fully built out yet so I'm sure the aesthetic will improve.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Seaside celebrates 31 years of New Urbanism

    SEASIDE — As it ages, the New Urbanism walkable community that was started as an experiment in 1981 is now viewed throughout the world as a model community. Architects and builders come from around the globe to view Robert Davis’ dream town.

    “Seaside is a civilizing force, and (is) reinventing itself as a place for teaching,” the town’s original planner, Andres Duany, said during a recent tour he led alongside Davis and the town’s first architect, Scott Merrill.
    http://www.newsherald.com/entertainm...elebrates.html

    We need to get over there again to get some more photos.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  25. #25
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    If Ally's beach had more color it could pass for a small irish town.

    Are there any stores/uses in Seaside that might surprise you? Say a tattoo parlor or church?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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