In 1925, George Merrick drew from the Garden City and City Beautiful architectural movements of the 19th and 20th century to create one of the nation’s first fully-planned communities, Coral Gables. Incorporating secluded residential enclaves and commercial areas inspired by the architectural style of the Mediterranean, Merrick envisioned a City that would offer every amenity to its resident and at the same time would become a center for international business.
The same principles that made Coral Gables a success at its inception guide the City's current policies. The community's and the City's emphasis on protecting the residential sectors, preserving the natural environment and maintaining an international flavor are all long-standing traditions.
In addition, in 1973, Coral Gables was one of the first cities in Florida to adopt a Historical Resources Ordinance, creating a Historical Resources Board and establishing a procedure for local landmark designations. Since then, the past has also been preserved in the form of buildings - significant either because of their architecture or because of the historic events or important figures associated with them.
Today, Coral Gables features one of only five National Landmarks in Miami-Dade County: The Biltmore Hotel, designated in 1996. There are also twelve properties within Coral Gables listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including Douglas Entrance.
In the past three decades, the City has experienced healthy growth, which has resulted in a strong economic base. Today, Coral Gables is home to 175 multinationals, 26 consulates and trade offices and more than 30 fine art galleries. It is also known as the Fine Dining Capital of South Florida. Growth in the commercial sector has brought a wealth of new activities for residents, including nighttime entertainment, live music, casual and fine dining, and new retail options. It has also helped maintain low property taxes.