History Happened Here

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Coral Gables

Miami-Dade County

Year Founded: 1925Founded by: George Merrick

History

Coral Gables’ unique past is evident today, not only in the preservation of its architecture and landmarks, but in the spirit of its residents and the philosophy that guides its government.

George Merrick drew from the Garden City and City Beautiful movements of the 19th and early 20th century to create in 1925 one of the nation’s first fully-planned communities. Incorporating secluded residential enclaves and commercial areas inspired by the architectural style of the Mediterranean, Merrick envisioned a City that would offer every amenity to its residents and at the same time would become a center for international business. In every respect, Merrick’s dream has come true.

The same principles that made Coral Gables a success at its inception guide the City’s current policies. The community’s and the City’s emphasis on protecting the residential sectors, preserving the natural environment and maintaining an international flavor are all long-standing traditions.

In addition, in 1973 Coral Gables was one of the first cities in Florida to adopt a Historical Resources Ordinance, creating a Historical Resources Board and establishing a procedure for local landmark designations. Since then, the past has also been preserved in the form of buildings — significant either because of their architecture or because of the historic events or important figures associated with them.

Today, Coral Gables boasts one of only three National Landmarks in Miami-Dade County: The Biltmore Hotel, designated in 1996. There are also nine properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including Coral Gables Merrick House, Venetian Pool and Coral Gables City Hall, as well as over 1300 locally designated properties.

Historical Sites

Name: Alhambra Plaza
Location: Alhambra Plaza Street Median
Historical Significance:

Name: Alhambra Water Tower
Location: Intersection of Alhambra Circle, Greenway Drive, DeSoto Blvd. and Anderson Road
Historical Significance:

Name: Biltmore Hotel and Country Club
Location: 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables
Historical Significance: a National Historic Landmark built in 1926 and situated on 150 tropical acres

Name: Coral Gables City Hall
Location: 405 Biltmore Way
Historical Significance:

Name: Coral Gables Congregational Church
Location: 3010 DeSoto Boulevard
Historical Significance:

Name: Coral Gables Merrick House
Location: 907 Coral Way
Historical Significance: The Merrick House is the boyhood home of George E. Merrick, founder and developer of the City of Coral Gables. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this house is a landmark of Florida history.

Name: Country Club of Coral Gables
Location: 1007 S. Greenway Drive
Historical Significance:

Name: De Soto Plaza and Fountain
Location: Intersection of Sevilla Ave., Granada Blvd. and DeSoto Boulevard
Historical Significance:

Name: Granada Golf Course
Location: 201 Granada Boulevard
Historical Significance:

Name: Matheson Hammock Park Historic District
Location: The area generally bounded by Journey's End Sub. and a portion of the Coral Gables deep waterway to the North; the Snapper Creek property to the South; Old Cutler Bay Sub. and Avocado Land Co. to the West; and Biscayne Bay to the East
Historical Significance:

Name: Miracle Theatre
Location: 280 Miracle Mile
Historical Significance:

Name: Old Police and Fire Station Building
Location: 285 Aragon Avenue
Historical Significance: Has been transformed to the Coral Gables Museum

Name: Pinewood Cemetery
Location: Sunset and Erwin Roads
Historical Significance:

Name: Venetian Pool and Casino
Location: 2701 DeSoto Boulevard
Historical Significance:

Name: The Villages
Location: www.coralgables.com/villages
Historical Significance: Seven villages planned for the City of Coral Gables to add diversity to its predominantly Mediterranean character include: Dutch South African Village, Chinese Village, French Normandy Village,Florida Pioneer Village/Colonial Village, French Country Village, French City Village, and Italian Village.

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