Design: Best of the Decade: Design

Seaside, Fla. This is a real old-fashioned small town, built from scratch since 1981. Developer Robert Davis and planners Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk have laid down simple, thoughtful rules derived from epicenters of charm such as Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, with their narrow streets, porches, alleys, wood siding, pitched roofs and absence of picture windows. On this master plan they let individual owners (148 so far) execute their own versions of the Seaside housing code with personal architects. The heterogeneity is real; the harmony is deep. Seaside could be the most astounding design achievement of its era and, one might...

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