Seaside Pavilions are Unique Gateways to Beach Bliss

September 15, 2021 by SoWal Staff

If you’ve ever driven down Scenic 30A through Seaside, then chances are you've seen one or more of the Seaside pavilions on the Gulf.

They are beautiful and enticing. They may be the most photographed architecture in South Walton, and they are also quite significant to SoWal’s history and architectural story. The nine pavilions help make our community stand out from other beach destinations, and each structure is unique in appearance and designed by a different architect.

Seaside town founder Robert Davis was at the forefront of “new urbanism” - a style which became the blueprint for many of South Walton’s communities that followed. The pavilions were carefully designed and constructed, and were an integral part of the formation of our world-famous beach town. Most anchor each of the main streets leading to the beach and stand as beautiful and practical gateways, with the dual purpose of protecting the dune system.

Davis desired to create a true residential plan where people could live simply, communing outdoors and connecting to the beach. The pavilions were planned to be open gateways to the beach - gathering spots to take in the view and chat with other folks. The goals were achieved and the pavilions have become distinctive landmarks that represent Seaside in grand fashion.

Each pavilion features its own unique design and reflects the individual vision of the architect commissioned to produce it. From Roger Ferri’s play on “stick” architecture with the Odessa Pavilion to Tony Atkin’s rotunda-styled Pensacola Pavilion topped with a pelican weather vane, the Seaside pavilions are as much a part of Scenic 30A as the pastel homes and sugar-white sands.

West Ruskin Pavilion – Michael McDonough

Pensacola Pavilion – Tony Atkin

Odessa Pavilion – Roger Ferri

Natchez Pavilion – Jersey Devils

Tupelo Pavilion – Ernesto Buch


Savanah Pavilion – Thomas Crist


East Ruskin Pavilion – S. Cohen and A. Nereim

Coleman Pavilion – David Coleman

Wedding Pavilion - Eric Watson


Each street has an association which owns the respective pavilion (the wedding pavilion and Coleman pavilion are not at the end of a street and are owned by the Seaside Development Corporation).

See the SoWal Photo Gallery of Seaside Pavilions >.


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