A stranger may be surprised that one of the best and oldest neighborhoods in Miami from 1925 seems to have a great Spanish influence because all the streets are named after the country.
It turns out that George Merrick Dade County Councilor interested in the purchase of properties began to promote houses near the bay and showed talent as a salesman and promoter.
Merrick had liked very much the style of Villa Vizcaya, a house that James Deering made in Mediterranean style brought from Spain and Italy material, ancient castles and without thinking twice set out to create an entire neighborhood with that style.
Helped by several architects and influenced by the movement of urban design of pretty cities, he began designing this neighborhood making the most names of the streets of a Spanish encyclopedic dictionary. The main streets of his future city have names like Granada, Alhambra, Segovia and Valencia.
Besides the names, Merrick wanted to emulate the squares and fountains of Spain. To publicize the creation, he hired a legion of vendors for the dream of an idyllic town. The tactic worked. The city had a unique balance between the lush vegetation of the area and a nice cool suburb. It is not to waste anything to the limestone quarry that provided the building materials of city was turned into a swimming pool in the Venetian style.
The first sales were in 1921 and after this first boom, Merrick made his dream and went on to develop the town and finalized the plans for the University of Miami built on land donated by him.
The Biltmore hotel was built in late 1925. In 1926 a hurricane did away with all dreams of Merrick and devastated the area including the beautiful neighborhood. In 1929, the city of Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel filed for bankruptcy and the University of Miami was about to close.
World War II helped to provide a resurgence in the area of South Florida where many soldiers were trained.
Biltmore Hotel became an army hospital and several land and buildings of the University of Miami were yielded temporarily for military purposes.
In late 1940s, veterans returned to South Florida and between 1940 and 1950 the population of Coral Gables doubled. It was at this time when many businesses were created in the Gaza Coral Way called ‘Miracle Mile’ or the number of small and luxurious boutiques who settled there.
When the Cuban upper class came to Miami, they liked this neighborhood as the house style reminded him of his native country. Today, almost 47% of Coral Gables is Hispanic. The Biltmore hotel, after years of being empty, reopened in 1987.
The city of Coral Gables was known to be very strict with the rules has softened a lot and as a result has experienced a degradation in the city. Many argue that this constitutes a violation of the vision Merrick had for this city.
But the business side of this city that a few years ago fell quite as people began to prefer indoor malls and protected from sun and rain has resurfaced again attracting a lot of shops. The city gives preference to businesses that commit to keeping the classic style of this Mediterranean city. It also has given grace and style to Coral Gables which has recently attracted many businesses. The city is home to a myriad of luxurious restaurants, 155 multinational companies and 26 consulates. To get the best real estate deals in Miami,