Leonella Santillan: Coral Gables 2020

Student Bio

Hello my name is Leonella Santillan, I am an international student about to finish my bachelor’s at Florida International University. My main dream is to become a lawyer, and therefore, I am always determined to learn more to attain my dream. I am from Ecuador and came to the United States when I was 14 years of age.  This study will focus on Coral Gables, which is one of the cities in Miami. 


Humans have created homes in several diverse ecosystems and grouped them into towns, states, regions, and nations, each of which has its interest. The shift in patterns in human migration patterns has contributed to a radically different human geography from that of centuries ago. Coral Gables is found in South-East, Florida, in Miami-Dade County (Sheskin, 19). It was from a nucleus of 65 hectares (160 acres) of citrus and farming lands in his family that Georges Merrick built the property, calling it the coral-rock house and gables. It is a well-planned residential city, renowned for its stunning square, streets, and exclusive villages of the Mediterranean theme. 

      Source: http://www.city-data.com/city/Coral-Gables-Florida.html

The Biscayne Bay and outside waterways are six miles (10 km), can be navigated on small vessels. Coral Gables is the headquarters of the University of Miami that makes a significant contribution to the economy of Miami, tourism is important as well, and the City is a regional center. Area highlights include the tropical Fairchild Garden and Merrick’s museum boyhood home. 


In 1925, Coral Gables had a distinct view of the City and its founder, George Merrick. After the home he grew up, Merrick named Coral Gables, a calcareous exterior and roof-fitted. The houses and buildings establish a seamless and unprecedented esthetic around the City with its textured walls and tiled roofs since it was one of the early planned cities of Florida(Rodulfo et al.,76). Since 1998, in Coral Gables’ historic Biltmore Hotel, Gable Stage is producing quality theater performances covering themes and concepts important to the ethnic culture of South Florida. In addition, Gable Stage won the Ruth Forman Award for big advances on the South Florida stage, a coveted theater award for South Florida with over 200 nominations. In January 2016, Joseph Adler, Production Artistic Director of the local arts funding organization People Engaged in Arts, was considered Champion of the Arts.

Many pilots and technicians of the Navy were trained and housed at Coral Gables during the Second World War. Coral Gables is also known as South Florida’s Fine Dining Capital. The town of Coral Gables has eleven resources listed in the National Historic Places Register, one of which is sometimes referred to as National Historic Places (Patricios et al., 13). The building was built using the native political calcareous stone in what was known as the Mediterranean Revival. When George Merrick started to design and build Coral Gables, he saw it as a Mediterranean-inspired unified town. The City Hall style is a good example of the time in which elements of Spanish, Moorish, and Italian architecture are mixed and have been in line with the Mediterranean values of Merrick. 


  1. Population 

Coral Gables is Florida’s 59th largest City and the 768th largest in the United States and has a population of 51,503. Currently, Coral Gables has grown by 0,49% each year and has increased by 10.10% since its previous census recorded 46,780 in 2020 as a city. With a density of 3,984 inhabitants per square mile, the field of Coral Gables stretches to more than 37 miles Daly (8). Coral Gables averages $168,659 in family earnings, a poverty rate of 7.5%. The median cost of renting is 1,583 dollars a month; the median valuation of the house is 795,600 dollars in recent years. Coral Gables is a middle-age with 39.8, 38.2, and 41 for men and women. 94.1 males are present for every 100 females.

Coral Gables residents have a median age of 39.8 years. Hispanic (55.8 percent), led by White (38.3 percent), and Schwarze are the major racial and cultural coral gables (4.1 percent). The Coral Gables residents had a net household income of $100,000 in 2018 (Choi 43). Slightly more than the households of Horizon West ($99,823) and Waukeenah ($98,125) did Coral Gables. Yet 7.5% of the people of Coral Gables remain in poverty.

Interview of Auriks Wong

Leonella: Hello Auriks, can you introduce yourself and mention what kind of work you do?

Auriks: “Hello, my name is Auriks and I am a Artist. I have lived in Coral Gables for 5 years.”

Leonella: Why did you choose to live in Coral Gables?

Auriks: “I chose to live in Coral Gables because it is quiet and is a safe area for me and my family.”

Leonella: How would you describe Coral Gables residents?

Auriks: “I describe them very quiet, respectful and clean”

Leonella: What is your favorite aspect of Coral Gables?

Auriks: “The houses and the historical landmarks”

Leonella: If someone you knew were to come to Coral Gables, where would you take them?

Auriks: “I would take them to the Coral Gables Museum since it celebrates the civic arts of architecture, urban design and planning, sustainable development and preservation of the      architectural, cultural and environmental.”

Leonella: If there was something you could change about Coral Gables, what would it be?

Auriks: “Honestly nothing, every time I wake up, I feel so lucky to live in a neighborhood like this”


I. Historical landmarks 

Alhambra Plaza at Coral Gables (121 Alhambra Cir, Coral Gables, FL 33134)

Several historical landmarks, such as Coral Gables Alhambra, have been located in Coral Gables. Merrick required a variety of portals to access the City when George Merrick designed Coral Gables. They remembered medieval gates in Europe and were supposed to illustrate that Coral Gables were different from the City around them. It’s at the door to the Alhambra. They are built of local stone and are equipped with benches.

Denman Fink designed all the Mediterranean style portals to Coral Gables. Denman Fink was an illustrator in painting and magazine. The Venetian swimming pool and the Alhambra Water Tower were planned, and the doors (Lin 130). Merrick worked for the City of Coral Gables as an artistic advisor. I have looked at the gate closely, and after cutting some weeds, I can see the seal attached to a D and a G. It was so awesome to see his label on the door. Since he was not a trained architect, the final sign off is made by the architects Phineas Paist and Walter De Garmo. The door is so lovely as  I liked to look at all the nuanced details. The bougainvillea is partially protected. It is easy to picture a princess in the Medieval period perched on her primeur’s seat.

II. Museums 

Coral Gables Museum at Coral Gables (285 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134)

In a historical coral stone house in the heart of Coral Gables, you can visit the Coral Gables Museum. It commemorates the City’s arts, urban planning, architectural, environmental and cultural growth and conservation. Exhibits, Saturday morning tours, special activities, and programs complement the Museum’s services, weekly bike, and Sunday morning Lin 134). The Coral Gables Merrick House in Coral Gables, Florida, is a historic house situated on 907 Coral Way. Designed initially as George E. Merrick’s childhood home, he is the founder of Coral Gables. It was added to the Register of Heritage Places, and since then, the City of Coral Gables has regained its appearance in 1925 and is open for visits twice a week to the public

III. Monuments

 Segovia Traffic Circles at Coral Gables (2401 Segovia St, Coral Gables, FL 33134)

There is also a famous public art and architectural building with Segovia Traffic Circles Sculptures. Coral Gables is famous for its various 1920s squares, doors, and springs. This is why I find it so fascinating to see the inclusion of new works of art. All modern must harmonize with George Merrick’s stunning features in constructing the City. Two traffic circles along Segovia Street were approved for construction by the City in 2014. The artists and sculptor Alice Aycock from New York designed them Lin 137). The first works of public art since George Merrick’s life were added to the two installations. The works are created from over 4,000 metal objects and influenced by the flowers. There are two separate sculptures. The Biltmore sculpture is smaller and has two styles for flowers. The sculpture Coral Way is built to illustrate a flower that floats in the wind. More than 180 entrants were reviewed before Aycock’s concept was chosen by a jury.

Mixed reviews of the flowers have been received from the visitors visiting the City. Most claim that contemporary architecture does not complement the City’s appearance. Several residents have attempted to withdraw the sculptured but have not obtained enough ballots. Any criticisms are that the sculptures are not Mediterranean and that since the sculptures were placed in place, collisions have risen in traffic circles Hadlow ET AL., (167). Others lament that they do not even pick their buildings’ color, but without consultation, the City has changed away from the City’s Mediterranean look. Despite the complaints of those residents who do not care for contemporary art in the Mediterranean arrival in the 1920s, the City has agreed to preserve the sculptures.


Coral Gables Wayside Park at Coral Gables (5710 Sw 35TH St, Miami, Fl 33155)

Coral Gables Parks and Recreation focuses on offering recreation facilities and resources to Coral Gables residents and visitors, encouraging development, socialization, healthy involvement, and family participation. The aim is to provide outstanding service and tailored programming, extraordinary parks, and projects, which serve community needs. The City consists of various parks, which makes the City be a more habitable place in Miami. Ingraham Park, Coral Gables Wayside Park, and Matheson Hammock Park consist of the major parks located in the City 

 The park creates a well-established recreational environment for the visitors and, therefore, attracts most of the people on weekends and holidays. Urban parks offer numerous ecological services that are of benefit to city-dwellers’ well-being and are often seen as a natural way to solve many urban environmental concerns Chaulagain et al., (5). However, for each type of park flora, the type and volume of ecological resources differ even throughout the park. The park offers various services such as well-designed benches, bicycle racks and thus creates a good environment to recreate the visitors. Besides, the park also offers a drinking fountain, fitness equipment, thus creating a memorable experience for the visitors. The other services that the park offers consist of picnic tables, walking paths, and water features.  


 Transport is a vital aspect of sustainable growth. The Coral Gables Sustainability Division plays a vital role in providing safe roads for cars, bikes, pedestrians, and bus drivers. The primary areas serving the entire metropolitan area of Coral Gables include heavy rail rapid transportation, shuttle, electronic guides, roads, two major airport areas, and Fort Lauderdale International Airport and seaports. The three-county bus networks serve the entire urbanized area, including Miami-Dade Metrobus and Broward County Transit, and Palm transport Rodulfo et al.., (77). Census and statistics on ridership indicate that Miami is the most commonly used to transport any city in Florida, as nearly 17 percent of Coral Gables routinely use public transport compared to some 4 percent of commuters in the metropolitan area of South Florida. Miami-Dade Metro, currently the main mass transport system in Florida, runs most public transports in Coral Gables. The reality that as regards planning, Coral Gables is a big challenge for urban planning and efficient mass transport, with most of the lowly contrasted medium-density growth scattered across the City, is one of the most stretched and car-dependent metropolitan areas in the United States.


Swine Southern Table & Bar at Coral Gables (2415 Ponce de Leon, Coral Gables, FL 33134)

In Coral Gables exist several areas that provide world-class eateries. While the City Beautiful saw a boom in fine dining choices recently, the Coral Gables restaurant scene remains consistent. The famous Swine restaurant is now gone in the Southern style, but it has a rather popular AdLib restaurant, which has the preferences of chef Norman Van Aken and pastry whiz Hedy Goldsmith. Coral Gables, once a power lunch destination and a food bite in the best pools of Miam after a flurry, is now just as popular with boozy brunches as its dynamic, happy hour scene (Choi, 21869). There are several options for group dining and degustation menus in the Coral Gables restaurants and some of the finest food in the area. Eating house is a restaurant, for example, where conventional dishes become healthy and enjoyable food to enjoy. Some cuisine, like kiddie’s typical dirt cup, is playful, while others like mushroom tartare and pasta carbonara, are serious and exquisite. Almost six years after the food scene became famous, Eating House demonstrates that it remains powerful. Bookings are also difficult, and tables are rarely vacant.


Biltmore Hotel at Coral Gables (1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral gables, FL 33134)

More than 150,000 new companies in Coral Gables open their doors each year. Launching a company is an exciting undertaking that requires careful planning. The location is one of the first and foremost factors. The Coral Gables economy involves domestic and foreign firms but is unusual in other areas of Florida because seasonal changes do not affect them. Town civic facilities, extraordinarily high quality of living, natural and architectural elegance, easy access, responsible development, and a diversified economy are perfect areas to invest domestically and globally. Biltmore Hotel and Venice’s swimming pool are big regional sights Patricios et al., 919). It is to the south of the National Park Biscayne and the west of Everglades National Park. The hotel business has been noted to do well due to the best amenities that are located in the City, thus attracting more tourists. For instance, most of the tourists spend their holidays in this City. The transport business is also a favorable business that does well in the City. This is mainly due to the high population level, which ensures that the transport sector is well represented in the City. 


The study found out that Coral Gables is a diverse neighborhood that has well-represented geography. The existence of unique landmarks also ensures that the City is more attractive among the tourist. Besides, the City has a well-established transport system that ensures proper transportation services among the people. Besides, the existence of a better business environment ensures that the economic productivity of the City is well established. This favors the high diversity level among the city members in the City. However, low agricultural practices are carried out in this region, which may affect the expected food security. 


Chaulagain, Suja, Jessica Wiitala, and Xiaoxiao Fu. “The impact of country image and destination image on US tourists’ travel intention.” Journal of Destination Marketing & Management 12 (2019): 1-11.

Choi, Phil M., et al. “Social, demographic, and economic correlates of food and chemical consumption measured by wastewater-based epidemiology.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116.43 (2019): 21864-21873.

Daly, Nicholas. The demographic imagination and nineteenth-century City. No. 97. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Hadlow, Richard Bryce. “The City Of Coral Gables v. Wood, 305 So. 2d 261 (Fla. 3d Dist. Ct. App. 1974).” Florida State University Law Review 4.1 (1976): 163-170.

Lin, Jan. “HERITAGE, ART, AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN MIAMI’S OVERTOWN AND LITTLE HAVANA.” The Power of Urban Ethnic Places. Routledge, 2010. 127-184..

Patricios, Nicholas. “Phineas Paist and the Architecture of Coral Gables, Florida.” Tequesta 64 (2004): 2-26.

Rodulfo, Raimundo. “Smart City Case Study: the City of Coral Gables Leverages the Internet of Things to Improve Quality of Life.” IEEE Internet of Things Magazine 3.2 (2020): 74-81.

Rodulfo, Raimundo. “Smart City Case Study: the City of Coral Gables Leverages the Internet of Things to Improve Quality of Life.” IEEE Internet of Things Magazine 3.2 (2020): 74-81.

Sheskin, Ira M. “Coral Gables, Florida 33 124.” Geographical Dimensions of Energy 5 (2012): 19.

Author: LeonellaSantillan

I am an international student, I am from Ecuador. I am a senior student at Florida International University.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: