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Coral Gables, Florida The Birth of the HOA

 Stunning Mediterranean Revivalist architecture, lush tropical foliage, charming  boutiques, world class golf courses, museums, fine art galleries, vintage  trolley cars, white sandy beaches and world class shopping are all hallmarks of  this pedestrian-friendly, South Florida city.  

 Coral Gables is home to many historic landmarks such as The Biltmore Hotel, The  Alhambra Water Tower, the Venetian Pool and Coral Gables City Hall and The  University of Miami that boasts a student body of more than 15,000. In 2012,  U.S. News and World Report ranked the college number 44 in its Best College  listing.  

 Located four miles from Miami International airport, southwest of downtown  Miami, Coral Gables was one of the first planned communities, and prefigured  the development of the gated community and the homeowners association. The area  was the brainchild of real estate developer George Edgar Merrick during the  Florida land boom of the 1920s.  

 Early History

 Community founder Merrick was born in Springdale, Pennsylvania in 1886 and moved  with his family to Miami in 1898. His father, Reverend Solomon Merrick, a  Congregationalist minister, had purchased one hundred and sixty acres of  undeveloped land which he operated as a plantation, growing avocados, oranges  and grapefruit on land that is now the Granada Golf Course.  

 In October, 1915 George Merrick was appointed by then governor of Florida, Park  Trammell, to replace F.A. Bryant as the county commissioner in District 1.  Merrick would spend the next 15 months championing the building of roads in  South Florida, including major highways that would later serve to connect his  well-planned community of Coral Gables with the fast growing city of Miami.  

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