A Few Good Monks for Seaside

Philip Bess makes the case for building a permanent community of Benedictines in the new urbanist resort.
November 15, 2012, 6am PST | newurban
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"Seaside's makers appear mindful of sacred order, acknowledged explicitly in two ways. Scott Merrill's neo-American-Carpenter-Gothic Seaside Chapel ("non-denominational") and bell tower-a finely crafted Protestant-cum-Modernist sacred building, abstract but true to type-terminates Seaside's main north-south axis and fronts a public green; and there are plans for a cemetery just east of the Chapel, which when realized will do much to make Seaside's grounding in sacred order more visible. But Seaside still is not a day-to-day town, rather a resort town populated by a handful of permanent residents and many tourists. It remains at best a project that aspires to the fullness of urban culture and place."

"What would bringing Benedictines to Seaside accomplish?" Bess argues, "[t]he main achievement would be a permanent worshipping community in Seaside, the effect of which would be to animate Seaside's currently understated acknowledgement of the sacred order within which Seaside exists."

Thanks to Robert Steuteville

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Published on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 in Better! Cities & Towns
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