ReliantSouth Construction Group served as the Construction Manager on the Captain Leonard Destin Park Project located in Okaloosa County, FL. The 3.42 acre parcel on Calhoun Avenue includes 280 linear feet of frontage on Choctawhatchee Bay with breathtaking views of Crab Island. The park is located on the homesteaded land of Captain Leonard Destin, whom the city was named after. The history of the site informs the design, including simple architectural forms with clean lines, painted white wood siding and a grove of fruit trees reminiscent of a time when the land was a dwelling place and source of sustenance for early settlers. Today the site is home to a heron rookery, as well as over 150 years of memories of its inhabitants, including boat building and fishing.
The park reflects the importance of water to the area and to the City of Destin in particular. Conceptually, water is the origin of movement. Curvilinear contours in the land, patterns in the paving, and paths/walls all “flow” from the waterfront. Strong, familiar, structural forms create the foundation of the site itself– reiterating the site’s importance as a place of origin. Materials are familiar at their core, but the shapes and spaces that emerge reflect the idea of currents and flow in a way that feels more present-day. The movement inherent in the resulting design connects the park’s features together and suggest the flow of ideas, development, and energy from this former homestead to the city that became Destin. The park transports a historic site to a place of gathering that celebrates the spirit of Destin, with the water at its core.
The park infrastructure includes an accessible beach access, boardwalk and deck with kayak launch, improvements to the existing dock, interpretive elements such as an historical seine boat and signage, public art, a playground, a splash pad, a restroom, and a gravel parking area.