Coral Gables’ founders imagined both a “City Beautiful” and a “Garden City,” with lush green avenues winding through a residential city, punctuated by civic landmarks and embellished with detailed and playful architectural features. Known as The City Beautiful, Coral Gables stands out as a planned community that blends color, details, and the Mediterranean Revival architectural style.
INTERNATIONAL From its inception, Coral Gables was designed to be an international City, and is now home to more than 20 consulates and foreign government offices and more than 140 multinational corporations. As early as 1925, City Founder George Merrick predicted Coral Gables would serve as “a gateway to Latin America.” To further establish international ties, the City has forged relationships with six Sister Cities: Aix-en Provence, France; Cartagena, Colombia; Granada, Spain; La Antigua, Guatemala; Province of Pisa, Italy; and Quito, Ecuador (emeritus).
HISTORIC Coral Gables, The City Beautiful, stands out as a rare pearl in South Florida. It is a cohesive community built on a grand scale that blends color, detail, and the Mediterranean Revival architectural style to create harmony with the environment. Early city planners and visionaries were influenced by the aesthetics of the City Beautiful Movement that swept across America in the early 1900s. Inspired by the works of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed New York’s Central Park, The City Beautiful Movement encouraged the use of wide tree-lined avenues, monumental buildings, winding roadways, green space, ornate plazas, and fountains.
The City continues to promote a Mediterranean architectural aesthetic by offering incentives for buildings designed in this style, paying tribute to George Merrick’s initial designs that were largely based on the Andalusia area of Spain. Many properties in the City are on the National Register of Historic Places, and more than 1,000 properties are on the Coral Gables Register of Historic Places. In addition, the Biltmore Hotel is a designated National Historic Landmark.
DYNAMIC Coral Gables is a major employment center, with almost as many people working in the City as living there. The Coral Gables economy is comprised of local and international businesses, but unlike other parts of Florida, it is not influenced as strongly by seasonal shifts. The City is especially desirable to businesses because of its proximity to Miami International Airport, the Port of Miami, and downtown Miami, while also being convenient for executive housing. In addition, a vintage style trolley connects many of the commercial districts and the Metrorail. The City has a strong offering of banking, investment institutions, health care, and professional services, as well as being the international headquarters for Bacardi and Del Monte Fresh Produce. The University of Miami is also located in Coral Gables, and is the City’s largest employer.
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. 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.
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