The Academic Village is Under Construction!


The Seaside Institute has started construction of its academic village. The project, which has been in development for almost two years, involves installing seven cottages within the Lyceum, an area within Seaside devoted to education and other civic activities. The cottages will house students and instructors who will travel to Seaside to participate in courses, seminars and workshops primarily in the areas of the arts, architecture/planning and health and well-being.

Programming will be geared to a wide range of people – from high school, college and graduate level students to senior adults– and course offerings will be open to both boarders and day students. The village provides much-needed housing for students and teachers, while allowing participants to enjoy a collegial living environment where discussions can continue after class is officially over.

While many classes will be intended for students who have already embarked on a course of study, other classes are designed to awaken new interests. This spring the Institute will launch a series called “Discover Your Inner Artist,” which will offer five-day courses in photography, plein air painting, drawing and room design.

The academic village was included as part of the Seaside plan in late 1998, although the inclusion of student housing within the Lyceum has been discussed by Seaside’s founders, Robert and Daryl Davis, since the early 80s.  Several charrettes were held over the years in an attempt to jumpstart plans for this phase of the Lyceum but financing proved elusive.

The Seaside Institute has launched an “Adopt a Cottage” fundraiser to pay for renovations to the interiors of the houses.  Those who sign on for the program will become founding members of the academic village and have naming rights to a cottage, including other benefits. Thus far, four cottages have been claimed. Construction of the village is expected to be completed this spring.

Seaside is considered the first new urban community, demonstrating its principles for compact, walkable, mixed-use development, and is famous for both its urban design and architecture. Although known as the town of Seaside, it has no municipal government but is part of unincorporated Walton County, located along the Gulf of Mexico on the Florida Panhandle. Close to a million people pass through Seaside on an annual basis to visit the shops and restaurants or attend an event.

For more information about the Adopt-a-Cottage program or the upcoming spring series, please contact Seaside Institute director, Diane Dorney, at


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