Writers by day, they drew designs in the sand and built sandcastle models. At night, they put plans on paper for Seaside-to-come. It was an architect’s version of a free-spirited artist colony, even if their habit of dressing in black pants and white shirts made them odd standouts on the Gulf.
Discovered in Miami by Seaside’s principal architects Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, this young group became known as The Night Crew for their furious nocturnal work habits and lively dinnertime debates out in the Tupelo Gazebo. They were compensated for their work with a parcel of land on which they erected a prefabricated Quonset hut that leaked, often rendering the designers and their drawings soggy, but they persevered. By the end of the summer of 1983, the crew had produced formal designs for their Seaside ideas, and some moved on while others moved in. A great many, including Duany and Plater-Zyberk, Steven Holl, Deborah Berke, Walter Chatham, Radolfo Machiado, Jorge Silvetti, Aldo Rossi, got their start in Seaside and went on to gain national and international renown. All left an indelible mark on this town with large ideas.