The Seaside Institute Summer Update

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The Seaside Institute’s Academic Village Closes Out an Era

Katrina Cottages to be Repurposed as the Site is Redeveloped

The Seaside Institute recently oversaw the removal of the Academic Village cottages located in Seaside™ which has provided a place for students of all ages to learn, study, collaborate and reflect for over seven years.

The Seaside Institute’s Academic Village was completed in August 2013. This long-desired addition to the Lyceum area in Seaside is a concept that was discussed by Seaside’s founders, Robert and Daryl Davis, since the early 1980s. The purpose of the village was to provide much-needed affordable housing for students, faculty and professionals who travel to Seaside to study or to participate in the town’s civic and cultural events. Located right in the middle of the Seaside community, the Academic Village provided the community with access to a wide variety of people who could share their talents and teach and inspire others.

The village included seven repurposed Katrina cottages, two large boardwalks and a 3,000-square-foot courtyard. The cottages were positioned with all buildings facing the large courtyard, artfully designed by Dhiru Thadani, allowing guests to enjoy a collegial living environment where discussions continued after classes were officially over. The Academic Village became a reality in 2013 through the generosity of the Dorney Family, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, the Geier Family, the Montague Family, Frank Starkey and the Stice Family.

Academic Village Fb Cover

“The Academic Village was a splendid place for receptions and served well as housing for people coming to Seaside for symposia and seminars,” added Davis.

On December 31, 2019, when the collective sponsorships of the Academic Village cottages expired, the Seaside Institute entered into an agreement to sell the seven cottages to a private group of investors, who intend to repurpose them.  “Now, at last, they will become affordable housing for people who work in our area but cannot afford to live here,” stated Davis.  “They are moving a few miles away and will have yet another life after serving as post disaster emergency housing after Hurricane Katrina (humane and elegant substitutes for FEMA trailers) and as student housing in Seaside,” concluded Davis.

As is the case with other buildings within Seaside and embracing the Institute’s “living laboratory” mission, Seaside Community Development Corporation, will continue the historic practice of fostering successive development.

The Seaside Institute continues to explore the topics that matter to you and apply nationally.

On the Horizon for 2020-2021 

  • 2020 Symposium Transforming Communities Through New Urbanism- Planning for the Future
  • Aging with Grace
  • The 2021 Seaside Prize will occur on March 5, 6 and 7, 2021.
  • International Travel Program resumes in October 2021

Join us on our journey to help people create great communities. For more information or tickets, please go to our website at

The Seaside Institute is a 501 (c)3 non-profit. Our mission is to help people create great communities. Through education, innovation, the arts and engaging our community, we are working to improve the quality of life for families and individuals within Seaside, as well as nationally and globally, while at the same time creating an innovative design that not only enhances the beauty of our environment but, preserves it as well.

If you are interested in helping the Institute fulfill its mission contact us at:, or call us at 850.231.2421.

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