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History of Coral Gables

Coral Gables is a city in the Miami-Dade County of Florida. Also known as the gables and the city beautiful, it was incorporated on the 29th of April, 1925. The city spans just over thirty seven square miles, of which almost thirteen square miles is land and a little more than twenty four square miles is water. The city is ten feet above sea level and is home to around fifty one thousand people.

The City of Coral Gables is seven miles from downtown Miami to the southwest. It was founded by George Merrick. The name of the city was inspired by his house. George Merrick’s home had a limestone exterior that looked like corals and a gabled roof. He envisioned a city as a natural extension of that house and Coral Gables was then among the few planned cities in the state of Florida. Today, the city sports buildings and houses that are aesthetic similar, with tiled roofs and textured walls. Prior to its incorporation, the area was a sleepy backcountry of Miami. Today it is stately city with lush landscape and houses the University of Miami.

Coral Gables was infamous for its stringent zoning laws. It was one of the planned communities that were conceived and developed as a part of the City Beautiful Movement in the early decades of the twentieth century. There was a land boom in the twenties across many parts of Florida. George Merrick conceptualized the development of the city using influences from Mediterranean Revival architecture. Merrick designed the commercial district in such a way that every business of prominence and relevance was only two blocks away. He restricted the downtown area to four blocks and it was two miles long. The arterial road bisected the downtown commercial area. Coral Gables once had an electric trolley system. There is a circulator trolley system in place now. It plies on Ponce de Leon Boulevard.

Coral Gables is almost as old as the University of Miami. The city was selected for the site of the then upcoming facility almost at the same time as the incorporation. The city served as the residential facility and training center for many pilots of the United States Navy during the Second World War. Coral Gables has had some notable residents such as Nobel laureate Juan Ramon Jimenez, MLB pitchers Juan Alvarez, Dane Jonson, Gus Gandarillas and Marty Bystrom, Pulitzer winner Dave Barry, former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush, models and actresses Colleen Corby, Alice Dixson and Gail Edwards, singer José José and founding editor of Huffington Post Roy Sekoff.

There are quite a few sister cities of Coral Gables around the world, including Aix-en-Provence in France, Cartagena in Colombia, Granada in Spain, La Antigua in Guatemala, Province of Pisa in Italy and Quito in Ecuador. Some of the places of interest in the city are Coral Gables Museum, Miracle Mile, Coral Way, Biltmore Hotel, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Venetian Pool, University of Miami, Village of Merrick Park and Coral Gables Villages. Popular festivals in Coral Gables include the Festival of Art at the University of Miami, Carnival on the Mile, Festival Miami and Junior Orange Bowl Festival.

Coral Gables City