The Avenue House is located on Seaside’s version of Elm Street, a wider street with a median planted in oak trees that has become a shady canopy over time. The houses along Seaside Avenue are a continuation of downtown in terms of scale and double story colonnade porches.
In the original code, the houses along Seaside Avenue were to be rooming houses or bed and breakfasts, for beach cottages of that size were never envisioned. The Avenue House was the second or third house constructed along the avenue and it served as an example of the kind of upscale architecture, not formally considered classical, that imbued the house with a real presence. The house employs classical proportions but incorporates modernist details, as evidenced by columns without capitals that are flush with beams. Quoting Davis, these details “appealed to the modernist aesthetic in my mind instilled by my Great Aunt Sylvia who taught me to think critically about art and architecture.”
The house boasts an industrial kitchen that Davis asserts was a personal attempt to execute a kind of “stripped down modernist classicism” that he saw as an evolution starting with the Greek revival and Schinkel. Davis notes that this aesthetic is one that still very much interests him, an “austere classicism” he believes was best practiced in the United States in the 20s and 30s. To the rear of the kitchen is an alcove with a wood burning stove and semicircular seating, and on the second story there is open circulation with a view to the kitchen below and additional seating in the rear. Special attention was paid to the floor articulation, with food floors used throughout, except in the first floor alcove seating where black and white tiles alternate and contribute to the industrial theme.