Our trolley tour was lead by local preservationist and author, Arva Moore Parks. For three hours she shared stories of the community, of its founder and of the beautiful architecture.
George Merrick, the founder of Coral Gables, had beauty in his vision of creating the city from the beginning. The architecture has a Spanish influence and the city ordinances support this style in the building of new homes today. Arva shared how Mr. Merrick believed that beauty is for all social classes of people, not just for the elite; that a city’s beauty should be shared and enjoyed by all its citizens.
Mr. Merrick’s vision for a prosperous and diverse community included higher education. The University of Miami is located on 225 acres, is a private research university and is home to many international students. We are told that an average of 40% of the students choose to continue living in this slice of tropical paradise.
There were many places that stood out for us on the tour, here are a few. (Hover the cursor over the pic for a description. Click on the pic for full screen.)
(We were told everyone has their first kiss in the caves at the Venetian Pool!)
Something we found to be unique about Coral Gables is how the Southern portion of the city is only residential…no gas stations, no grocery stores, no restaurants. Of course, conveniences are close, but it was actually nice to drive through neighborhoods without seeing any businesses.
And of course we found a few houses we wouldn’t mind moving in to!