“The City Beautiful” (literally and figuratively), Coral Gables captures an elegance admired not only locally, but internationally. Incorporated in 1925, the City of Coral Gables continues to offer incentives to architects, builders and developers whose designs are in keeping with George Merrick‘s vision of a community steeped in Mediterranean style. Merrick was influenced by Deering’s creation of Villa Vizcaya, and envisioned creating a Spanish-influenced city within Miami, giving it shape, structure, and esthetic beauty. Working with master craftsmen and city planners, Merrick began what would become a cultural gem of South Florida, Coral Gables .
Rich with culture, Coral Gables distinguishes herself through Mediterranean-revival style architecture. Now more than ever, that urban core, from Miracle Mile to Merrick Park, bustles with ever-growing numbers of art galleries, fine restaurants, bookstores, and shops. Increasingly more pedestrian, with open air markets, street fairs, art shows, cultural and community happenings Coral Gables is both hospitable and alluring. Trolley service is provided free of charge, making the Gables all the more accessible and welcoming.
The Village of Merrick Park is renown for it’s designer stores and fine dining. Set around an open ‘Plaza’ the shops at Merrick Park have an air of elegance about them, and are very much in keeping, architecturally, with George Merrick’s vision.
The Biltmore Hotel, built in 1926, stands as a monument to Spanish-influenced Mediterranean architecture. Publicly owned (and privately leased from the City of Coral Gables) the Biltmore is a landmark of world-class renown. Spa, tennis, dining facilities, fitness center are open and available to local residents as well as registered guests. The golf course, home to PGA Tours, is also for public use.
Unique to Coral Gables is the Venetian Pool, with it’s cascading waterfalls, caves and grottos, sandy beach, and lushly landscaped grounds. Once a limestone quarry, the Venetian Pool (since 1923) is a natural swimming hole, spring-fed with icy cold water from the underground aquifer. 820,000 gallons of water replenish the pool each day, now utilizing a system of natural re-absorption, which returns the water to the underground water system so as not to deplete our natural resources. Undoubtedly one of the most spectacular swimming holes anywhere … the Venetian is the only swimming pool ever to be listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Closed for renovation from September 2008 through April 2009, it is otherwise open year-round. Primarily for recreational use both pool and grounds lend themselves for use as special events.
Public parks, waterways, bike trails, recreational opportunites, boating, fishing and beaches, libraries, farmer’s markets, lakes, mangroves , educational programs…Fairchild Gardens, Deering Estate, Matheson Hammock…the list is endless, and there’s always something worth doing. The Gables is home to Matheson Hammock, a place full of boating, biking trails, beautiful views of Biscayne Bay and Red Fish Grill, an outdoor restaurant which takes full advantage of the ocean views.
Regardless as to location, whether in heart of the city or in the more residential neighborhoods, homes in the Gables run the gamut, from understated to opulent. By Miami standards (or international, either one) Gables living is highly desirable, be it in single family homes, condos, or townhouses. City planners and landscape designers painted a canvas for a luxury lifestyle… million dollar homes, condos and townhomes on beautifully tree-lined streets…. incorporating plazas, water fountains and open green spaces. In part due to the presence of the University of Miami, Coral Gables exudes cultural diversity and intrigue… and remains one of the most highly sought-after zip codes in the nation.
A beautiful city, full of history… conceived by visionary George Merrick. Since it’s inception, the Gables continues to be one of the premiere places to live and work in South Florida. Famous landmarks such as the Biltmore Hotel, and the Venetian Pool… coupled with world-class dining, shopping and lifestyle… Coral Gables finds a balance between work and play, meshing commercial and residential into a multifaceted and luxurious lifestyle.
If you are considering buying or selling real estate in Coral Gables, please give me a call at (305) 793-1365 or send me a note here.