Charles W. Clary III, FAIA

Founding Principal

Charlie’s perspective not only as an architect but as a former Florida State Senator brings an added dimension to his involvement with our clients.


Throughout his career, Charlie has contributed to the architectural profession and to the State of Florida’s legislative process, and his efforts have been recognized by numerous professional service awards.  As the founding principal of DAG Architects, he is involved in overseeing all of the firm’s projects.

Contact Charlie:



"I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up -- a forest ranger.  I was drawn to the power of nature and the beauty of the outdoor landscape.  When I was outside I was always building a treehouse, fort or some other structure.  If I was inside, I was busy with building models of planes or ships.  After graduation from high school I spent four years in the Navy Submarine Service.  When I would arrive in a foreign port, I found myself immediately setting off to explore, and was captivated by the unique architectural details of a city's buildings, cathedrals and public spaces.  This was an epiphany for me, and I began studying to be an architect within two weeks of returning home from service."


"Service has been a common thread in my background.  After several years of building my own architectural practice, I realized that politics played a significant role in nearly every aspect of both the design and build process.  I decided to run for office so I could discover for myself how the internal system influenced decisions and progress.  I went on to serve six years as a City Council member and ten years as a Florida State Senator.  From being active on numerous committees this remarkable experience gave me invaluable insight and opened new doors and opportunities.  I also was able to turn this knowledge into action by being involved in both the state and national AIA organizations and representing the needs and goals of the design industry."


"I realize how lucky I am to have a great family and have always known that I had the full support of my wife and two daughters.  I have been able to pursue my passions for design, photography, and art.  And I have been able to work with extraordinary people, on behalf of amazing projects, and helped to bring about changes that led to transformations in our profession."


Bachelor of Architecture, 1977

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design, 1976

Auburn University


Professional Registrations

Architecture, Florida (#AR0009694)


Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Architects (former Vice President, Florida Association)

Florida Educational Facilities Planning Association

Florida Division of Worker’s Compensation (Board Member)

Florida Humanities Council (Board Member)

Committee for a Sustainable Emerald Coast

Former Florida State Senator


Awards and Honors

 Service to the Profession Award, AIA Florida Northwest, 2010

 “For leadership activities and service that has been a direct benefit to the profession or community.”


Grassroots Excellence Award for Government Affairs, Outstanding Individual Contribution, National AIA, 2008

 “As a champion of the profession, he has spearheaded a string of remarkable advocacy successes that have been among the most significant design and construction legislative actions in the State of Florida, advancing the practice of architecture for the benefit of the construction industry and the public it serves.”


Charles W. Clary Service Award, Florida AIA, 2001

 “who by his interest, activity and concern for the profession of architecture, has advanced the cause of good design and planning and contributed to the dignity and value of the architectural profession as Florida’s first architect to serve as a State Senator.”


2000 Elected to the College of Fellows, American Institute of Architects

Charlie has been an active AIA member since 1983, and was elected to College of Fellows in 2000 because of his work “to ensure the advancement of the living standards of people through his improved environment and public service work.”


Component Excellence Award for Outstanding Contribution, AIA, 1999

 “His leadership and commitment to the successful 1998 legislative campaign to adopt a statewide building code for the State of Florida.”


President’s Award, Northwest

Florida AIA, 1997

 “In recognition for performing outstanding service to the public and to AIA as a member of the Florida Senate and for being an example to members of the architectural profession who may wish to take a more active role in their government.”

Residential and Resort Projects

Henderson Beach Hotel Study, Destin

NatureWalk Prototype Houses, Seagrove Beach

Scholarship and Organization Housing Master Planning, Tallahassee

Blue Heron Beach Resort, Orlando

Emerald Beach Resort Wyndham Improvements, Panama City Beach

Magnolia Bay Club Condominiums, Panama City

Marbella, Destin

Pelican Isle Condominium, Fort Walton Beach

Villas of Frangista Architectural Standards

Willow Creek Architectural Guidelines, Crestview

Waterside Village, Mexico Beach

Bishop Landing Senior Living Complex, Crestview

Rockhill Residence, Cantonment

Capri Condominium, Fort Walton Beach

Religious Projects

Beulah Baptist Church Townhouses, Fort Walton Beach

First Baptist Church of Fort Walton Beach

Midway Baptist Church Educational Building

Village Baptist Church Family Life Center, Destin

Atlanta    I    Destin   I   Panama City

Pensacola   I   Tallahassee

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© 2020 by DAG Architects

FL License AAC000745