Monday, March 5, 2012

Rosemary Beach

A mere 8 miles east of Seaside, is another resort town developed under the rules of new urbanism, Rosemary Beach. Developed 10 years later than Seaside, the same team got together to develop a town which would not be a copy of Seaside, but rather a reaction to it and its faults. Named for the wild rosemary which naturally grows here, Rosemary beach was planned as an urban village in the style of a European colony. Originally planned to be about the same size as neighboring Seaside, just south of the 30A towards the beach, acreage became available during planning north of the highway which was quickly acquired and integrated into the scheme.

Funding was easier the 2nd time around due to the success of Seaside and the popularity and market demanded a more upscale venue.The style is very different than Seaside, as you can see. Water features abound in the town tying you to the beach even in the heart of the village.The first buildings to be completed were the post office and town hall, seen above and below, which became style markers for future development.The center strip is quite dense, with apartments and townhouses above shops and restaurants. This isn't a sleepy little village.Some of the most well known houses below, which you may recognize by Bobby McAlpine, lie close to the white sandy beaches. These flank the main common green area which faces the gulf.The houses along the beachfront are magnificent; more than mere seaside cottages here. Wood construction on masonry bases with wood porches are the requirements by the town code, which allows for a number of different styles to be used architecturally.I loved this house set back behind a gravel courtyard.This white stucco house was another of my favorites.These very similar houses stand out from one another by color treatments. Paint is not allowed here, rather the wood is stained. As in Seaside natural, honest materials are a requirement.Not everything is traditional, a good bit of the architecture has modern detailing. The streets have sidewalks, unlike Seaside, putting focus on the pedestrian. Alleys lie behind each house for use by cars, with guest cottages above garages.

These were some of my favorite views of Rosemary beach, the charming alleys. Strange, no?


I could very happily settle into one of these apartments with wide porches.

More on Seaside and a magnificent new development, Alys Beach, is upcoming!

12 comments:

Kerry @ Design du Monde said...

It all looks very nice. There is a planned community near me with alleys etc. and the effect is unfortunately kind of creepy. It looks like a movie set. The intent was to harmonize with historic downtown Fredericksburg but I think its strange. Maybe if it had not been left up to only two builders.

katiedid said...

This is one place on the East Coast that both my husband (A Land Planner) and I agree would be on the itinerary!! Fantastic!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Katie -and the beaches are FANTASTICALLY beautiful!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Kerry, thats a common complaint of these types of developments. Of course, the alternative seems to be much worse - strip mall development like you see all over Florida and it makes me want to claw my eyes out.
I think these developments need time to age and settle in - much like what they're based on -I said as much on TWITTER earlier today when someone remarked that it was 'too perfect'. Age fixes perfection in many things as we know -haha.

Paisley Curtain said...

It is a very pretty small town, of course very different from seaside. Thanks for taking us along to visit these nice places.

Karena said...

I remember one of the premier developments here in Kansas City when first built. It had a "blanched in the sun" look. Now the landscaping and trees have all matured and it is very special!

Xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Ann said...

I haven't stopped in here but I think I love it more! The thing that makes me laugh about FL is that it is a blank canvas, for better or worse. And sometimes people hit it out of the park (like these two communities) and often they don't... And it never ceases to amaze me how planned communities become their own towns with their own schools and stores, etc. All over Florida there are much less tasteful examples of this phenom. and the locals refer to the neighborhood as if it were independent even if it is not!

Bob said...

Rosemary Beach is my all time favorite US destination to chill out. I've now spent 7 weeks/weekends there, and except for the drive down from Atlanta, I am really happy to be there,as opposed to Seaside where I can never relax.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Ann - the required infrastructure is pretty incredible!
Bob -how long is the drive from Atlanta?

Style Court said...

Stefan -- I love the sort of West Indian-meets-Louisiana vibe. A bit A. Hays Town, maybe. And I really like your pick: the house set back with courtyard.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Courtney - it's very 1920's, isn't it? Just a charming house!

Davis Properties Sales Team said...

We really enjoyed your post about Rosemary Beach. Our broker was actually VERY involved with this development in the beginning years. He was instrumental in encouraging the developers to not only consider New Urban & TND methods for Rosemary but also in encouraging them to acquire the northern parcel when it became available for purchase. We love this community, it's one of our favorite beach towns along 30a!