Most of my Coral Gables pictures are of Fairchild Gardens taken in the Spring of 2004. I've put 40 of the best pictures I took into the travelogues, so if you are interested in plants and flowers, look at them before you go back to the Miami 2004 Spring travelogue.
Coral Gables calls itself "The City Beautiful" Its website says:
"The City's 12.5 square miles are shaded by more than 50,000 trees. Coral Gables is home to three excellent golf courses, numerous parks and public tennis courts, 30 miles of waterways and abundant boating facilities. And probably the only swimming pool in the country on the National Historic Register - The Venetian Pool - a spring-fed grotto of native coral rock and underwater caves." It is home to the University of Miami, and boasts that its "..timeless grace and grandeur is maintained thanks to careful planning, strictly enforced building codes and ordinances."
IMHO that means snobbery and arrogance. I hate covenants - I think they are un-American.
Coral Gables is built in the Mediterranean Revival style which was inspired by James Deering's Villa Vizcaya. Deering (like DuPont at Winterthur and Hearst at Hearst's Castle) not only built his Vizcaya in 1914 using authentic Italian and Spanish materials but in addition, Deering imported large pieces of real European castles which were dissembled, shipped here by boat and reassembled on site. Many of the large murals, ceilings and tapestries from Europe remain at the Deering estate to this day.
Inspired by Vizcaya, George Merrick wanted be known for more than his wealth; in 1921, he wanted to create a special suburb of Miami which would reflect the Spanish influence of the area. Under his influence, Coral Gables began to take shape. Coral Gables was incorporated in 1925.