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Gateways to the Beach - Pensacola Street Beach Pavilion

Posted on Jan 01, 2018 in Pensacola Street Beach Pavilion , Gateways to the Beach , January–February 2018

SEASIDE®’s beach pavilions are a special part of the town’s design by Wendy O. Dixon

The Seaside beach pavilions, dotted along the south side of each of Seaside’s streets, are an integral part of the town’s unique design, and reflect the visions of the award-winning architects who designed them. Three of Seaside’s pavilions, situated in the center of town, are accessible to the public (Seaside Pavilion, Coleman Pavilion and Mohney Pavilion). The remaining nine private pavilions are available for homeowners and Seaside guests. As a continuing series, The Seaside Times explores each pavilion’s unique features and the architects who designed them.

Pensacola Street Beach Pavilion Architect: Tony Atkin (1950-2015)

A fish-feasting pelican silhouette perches on top of the rotunda-styled pavilion on Pensacola Street. Architect Tony Atkin’s sketches of the structure indicate the use of simple materials and symmetry, along with a sense of humor.

Tony Atkin, of Atkin, Voith & Associates of Philadelphia, said of his firm’s work, “Like early 20th-Century architects, we aspire to a broad eclecticism; selecting an appropriate idiom for each project to achieve practicality, beauty and individuality.”

Atkin earned his Master of Architecture degree fromt the University of Pennsylvania. He was a visiting lecturer and critic at many of the country’s leading architecture schools.

Among its many projects, the firm designed the Renfrew Center, the nation’s first independent residential rehabilation center for the treatment of eating disorders (winner of a 1985 Progressive Architecture Award). The architectural design breaks from the typical institutional look of a rehap center, taking on a residential appearance. Atkin also designed the Chapel for the Cathedral of Christ the King (winner of a 1983 Progressive Architecture Award), a small chapel in the Gothic revival style, which was added to a cathedral in Ontario.

Of Seaside, Atkin wrote in a letter to Seaside town founder Robert Davis, “I was impressed before coming and doubly impressed on the spot.” And as the architect planned the pavilion’s features, he noted, “We have made use of the greater dune height to enter under the sitting platform. This also gives enough room to put the bathroom, changing room and shower on the lower level as well. By raising the seating area three steps, an obstructed view of the ocean is obtained.”