The City of Coral Gables Was Built in This Walled Garden
In the 1920s developer George Merrick built Coral Gables on his family’s farm to resemble the medieval villages of Spain and Europe, complete with elaborate gateways and entrances, and supposedly a wall running around the perimeter. The actual wall was never built, but Merrick’s entrances and many plazas were, all with names like Granada and Balboa that alluded to somewhere far off and alluring. Most of them were even built before almost anything else in the vicinity, creating the impression of an eden-like garden (the farm had grown grapefruits, avocados, and other vegetables) guarded by monumental architectural sentinels, fountains, towers, gatehouses, wrought iron lamps, and other themed elements. A city would soon be built within that garden. These photos at the Library of Congress are of images at the Coral Gables Public Library. They bring back the exotic beauty that Coral Gables’ earliest residents must have experienced on a daily basis.
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