Coral Gables is one of the most architecturally self-conscious cities in the country.
A planned community established in the twenties
, designer George E. Merrick hoped to bring Mediterranean Revival style into every corner of the city’s landscape. He hired architects that partly realized the dream, knocking out Spanish villa landscaping, neighborhoods, and roads, but a hurricane and the Great Depression stymied growth until after WWII.
To this day, even street signs are maintained as landmarks—the city takes that much pride in its architectural heritage and beauty.
One of the most stunning constructions is the
, which has existed pretty much since Merrick’s inception. A 400-room building with club and golf course, the behemoth boasts classic Mediterranean beauty, a blend of Spain and Italy with which Merrick was so deeply enamored, helping to lend the city its rather self-important moniker “The City Beautiful.”
The Venetian Pool
, carved out of coral rock at the time of the city’s foundation, is the Gables’ most alluring tourist attraction. An 800,000+ galloon pond of recycled spring water, the Venetian Pool is rigged with waterfalls, loggias, grottos, coral caves, porticos, bridges, and an island. A piece of history and ingenious construction and one of the most relaxing and entertaining swimming arenas in a state that boasts gorgeous beaches and Disney World, the Pool is a must-see for any architectural aficionado newly arrived to South Florida.