Just south of downtown Miami lies beautiful Coral Gables, or simply "The Gables" as it's known to natives. This planned section of town is an oasis of quiet stately homes and upscale shopping and restaurants in the heart of Miami. If you're tired of South Beach and the downtown scene and are looking for some classy fun, take a trip to the Gables.
Coral Gables is built in the Mediterranean Revival style thanks to the work of James Deering on his estate, Villa Vizcaya. Deering built Vizcaya in 1914 using only authentic materials from Italy and Spain, as well as incorporating large pieces of real European castles that were dissembled, shipped here by boat and reassembled on site. Coral Gables began to take shape. Within four years of its conception, Coral Gables was incorporated in 1925.
Perhaps the greatest monument to the Mediterranean Revival style stands today- the Biltmore Hotel. Inspired by the Cathedral of Seville in Spain, it's tower today stands as a recognizable symbol to all Miamians. The hotel was erected in 10 short months and has not changed even its exterior color to this day. As a world-class hotel it brings visitors from the world over; natives flock to the Biltmore to enjoy its spa offerings and beautiful coral pool. Located in the heart of Coral Gables, the University of Miami Hurricanes has a national reputation that has reached iconic proportions. Many young upstarts, whether attending the University or not, choose condos in Coral Gables. When living near the university, condo owners can easily enjoy the culture and excitement that the campus life offers. The University of Miami is a dynamic artistic community that includes the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, the Bill Cosford Cinema, and Gusman Concert Hall. The nationally recognized Lowe Art Museum offers exhibits, permanent collections, and fine arts classes.
As the recession slowed building and real estate development, so The Gables stopped its growth in its prime. Unfortunately, the Mediterranean Style never regained its full strength and beauty. In the 1950s, Miracle Mile sprang up, a brick-paved section of road on Coral Way between LeJeune Road and Douglas Road. With its upscale boutiques and specialty stores it brought heightened commerce to the area and inspired more of the same kinds of shops to open their doors soon after. Today, special incentives are offered to builders and designers who design with the Mediterranean Revival style in mind.