The site on which the Seaside Chapel now sits had been designated for a house of worship since the town’s plan was originally created by the firm DPZ in the 1980s. Nearly twenty years later, in 1999, ground was broken on the site and architect Scott Merrill of the Vero Beach firm Merrill, Pastor & Colgan was selected to design the chapel. Dedication of the worship space took place in October of 2001.
The building was intended as a non-denominational, or interfaith, worship space so Merrill opted to avoid iconic or architectural language traditionally associated with any one particular faith. Instead the building takes on a vernacular – although still exalted – appearance, utilizing the language of its particular region of the United States. A center aisle configuration in plan and board and batten construction reflect a Carpenter Gothic style. This feel is continued in the interior of the stays in that style with heart pine floors and white walls. A local artisan was recruited to construct the Chapel’s altar, also of heart pine, and inscribe it with the words of Psalms 98:1.
The Chapel is located prominently within the town of Seaside at the head of the town’s center, Ruskin Square; it serves as the terminus to the town’s primary axis. Several elements were used to accentuate the importance of this structure. Its steeply-pitched roof rises to fifty feet, giving it an impressive appearance from both the interior and the exterior and making it the tallest building in all of Seaside. The bell tower soars even higher, to a final height of sixty-eight feet. Its disposition makes it an obvious beacon for all believers, inviting people of all faiths to gather and worship together.