Coral Gables Essay

This essay has a total of 1004 words and 5 pages.

Coral Gables

George Merrick, a son of a Congregational minister, Solomon Merrick, was not even thirty
years old when he embarked on the construction of Coral Gables. His family first came here
when he was only a child, escaping the raging blizzard happening in New England at the
time. They were actually headed for Miami, but, because of a yellow fever quarantine, they
decided to settle west in an area known then as "pine land.

George had a vision, a vision of a city inspired by the fury and tumult of the Old
Testament. But instead of constructing a confining biblical fortress, as described by
Ezekiel, Merrick proceeded to convert the plantation into a modern residential city with
open inviting gates, wide avenues, trickling fountains and lush greenery, stretched into
an immense garden commensurate with southern Florida. A visit to the city would begin with
a passage through one of eight elaborately designed entrances intended to evoke the
feeling of passing through the gates of an exotic walled city of antiquity.

He also traveled extensively. He traveled to Mexico ,and also almost all of Europe. This,
and also his loved for Walt Whitman's poems, for Washington Irving's Alhambra, his
knowledge of the English and American city-gardens, the City Beautiful movement, was
certainly intended to seek clarity and practical technical solutions needed to create
Coral Gable's grandeur. But the seeds of these ideas might have sprouted from his Bible
readings. Merrick wanted to begin the creation of this city right after his fathers death.
Unfortunately, no bankers would give him a loan to begin his city. They did not believe he
had the potential to construct such a city. The considered him a sort of dreamer, because
he readpoetryy and wrote some himself. He finally got the money by selling lots to people
living in Miami.

Florida was one of the things that Merrick loved. In 1920, while he was already working on
the shape of Coral Gables, he wrote a poem called "Florida The Treasure Land".

The fairest mountains that arise
Pile peaks and crags in glowing change-
Like an enchanted fairy range-
Loom near;- then fade in tropic skies
-'bove Florida
The sweetest breath the fairies know;-
And perfumed deep of spices rare-
Borne from far countries whence they fare;-
Their stolen wealth- the trade-winds blow
-On Florida

The style of architecture in Coral Gables is very Mediterranean. Adapting this style to a
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