The “City Beautiful,” Coral Gables, has a rich history dating back to it’s founding fathers, who envisioned beautiful architecture, married with lush green avenues in the residential portions of the city, and embellished landmarks with playful details throughout. It stands out as a planned community that “blends color, details, and the Mediterranean Revival architectural style.”
Originally predicted to be the “gateway to Latin America” by city founder George Merrick, relationships were forged with six Sister Cities: Aix-en Provence, France; Cartagena, Colombia; Granada, Spain; La Antigua, Guatemala; Province of Pisa, Italy; and Quito, Ecuador (emeritus); it also is home to over twenty consulates and foreign government offices and hundreds of multinational corporations.
A cohesive community with high standards of excellence to maintain the harmony between the architecture and environment, city planners and visionaries were influenced by the aesthetics of the City Beautiful movement that swept across America in the early 1900’s. Frederick Law Olmstead (New York’s Central Park) is considered a direct inspiration to much of the landscape found within the city, marked by tree-lined avenues, green spaces, ornate plazas, fountains and monumental buildings.
Today, the City Beautiful constantly promotes the Mediterranean architecture, offering incentives for buildings designed in this style which pay tribute to George Merrick’s initial designs. From the Andalusia area of Spain to palpable influences of Venice, Italy, many properties are now on the National Register of Historic Places, with more than 1,000 properties on the Coral Gables Register of Historic Places.
Having its economic and residential roots in a strong balance of local and international finances, Coral Gables uniquely remains strong and stable, unaffected by seasonal shifts. The City’s location has close proximities to Miami International Airport, the Port of Miami and downtown Miami, making it highly desirable for businesses and executive housing alike. Banking, investment institutions, health care and various professional services, including the international headquarters for Bacardi and Del Monte Fresh Produce comprise the commercial aspects to the City, which is also connected by a vintage style trolley; however, the largest City Beautiful’s employer is the University of Miami.
“Coral Gables attracts national and regional retailers along with an abundance of boutiques and retail shops. Miracle Mile is the center of a true downtown district, and is internationally known as the place for every bride to shop for all her wedding needs. For more information, visit www.shopcoralgables.com. The Village of Merrick park is a 780,000 square foot mixed-use retail, residential and office project anchored by Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, and has more than 100 other select retailers including Tiffany & Co., Burberry, Coach and Gucci. www.villageofmerrickpark.com . The Coral Gables hospitality industry is positioned to support the high-end leisure and corporate traveler, and also has many prominent restaurants boasting more than 100 cafes and restaurants.”
Culturally, the City Beautiful supports a new museum, art cinema, four live theaters, art galleries, and concert halls. Visitors and residents alike also enjoy Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, an 83-acre botanic garden. (Incidentally, from personal experience, it provides a stunning backdrop for getting married – natural light, lush combinations of palms, bouganvilleas and cyads, and several options for receptions, depending on the size of your party).
Information provided by the City of Coral Gables, www.coralgables.com