• Landmarks

    Biltmore Hotel

    The Bilmore Hotel has survived hurricanes, land busts, gangsters, nasty critics and even rumors of a ghost to emerge as one of South Florida's most written-about landmarks. The Biltmore was Coral Gables developer George Merrick's dream. He used his family's truck garden where he grew tomatoes for the site of the new hotel. Not being superstitious, Merrick chose Friday, March 13, 1925, for ground-breaking. Biltmore was modeled after the Giralda Tower of Seville, Spain. At the time, it was called the tallest building south of Atlanta and hailed as one of the showpieces of the nation. Even the the New York Times covered its opening. 

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Biltmore Hotel

The Bilmore Hotel has survived hurricanes, land busts, gangsters, nasty critics and even rumors of a ghost to emerge as one of South Florida’s most written-about landmarks. The Biltmore was Coral Gables developer George Merrick’s dream. He used his family’s truck garden where he grew tomatoes for the site of the new hotel. Not being superstitious, […]

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Coral Castle

Like a creation from the dawn of history, Coral Castle stands against the Dade County sky, a fantastic pile of stone built with one man’s sweat and labor.

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Venetian Pool

In 1923, Coral Gables’ founders had a problem: an unsightly rock pit in the middle of the fast-growing community. The Venetian Pool — one of the first public pools in South Florida — was born in 1924. Founder George Merrick got the idea to turn the coral rock pit — where much of the rock […]

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Miami Vice

Miami Vice ran on NBC from 1984-1989, and was one of the highest-rated television programs of the decade. The show’s plot followed two Miami police detectives working undercover, Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson, in this 1984 photo by Miami Herald photographer Donna Natale Planas) and Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas), in their attempts to fight the […]

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Filming in Miami

The movie industry’s infatuation with South Florida’s exotic tropical landscapes and year-round sun started in the 1940’s with classics like Moon Over Miami and Key Largo. In the ’60s, Florida’s fun-in-the- sun image brought in movies like Where the Boys Are. During this time, the the Jackie Gleason Show was filmed in Miami Beach until […]

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Miami drug wars

The deadly 1979 shootout at Dadeland Mall in broad daylight between Colombian traffickers– quickly dubbed ”the Cocaine Cowboys” by a police officer on the scene — heralded the beginning of South Florida’s bloody and violent drug wars in which drug dealers competed for Miami’s wholesale markets. The mob-style execution and growing violence in the streets […]

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Art Deco

With roots in Europe as far back as the 1880s, Art Deco rejected the ornate excesses of Victorian architecture. It had burst on the American scene after the 1925 Exposition International Des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. The style arrived in South Florida at a time when Miami Beach was a blank slate […]

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Crandon Park Zoo

From the late 1940s until August 1980, Crandon Park Zoo on Key Biscayne was the place to see bears, tigers, monkeys, reptiles and birds just a few steps from the beach. The zoo, located in the 900-acre Crandon Park, opened in 1948 and was the county’s first. It blossomed from the misfortune of a traveling […]

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Coconut Grove

From Seminole War battleground to Bahamian pioneer outpost to groovy hippie haven, Coconut Grove has had several incarnations. Originally spelled Cocoanut Grove – its residents decided to drop the “a” after its incorporation as a city in 1919- the village has attracted sailors, academics, artists, explorers, drop-outs and scientists. It was the place where northern […]

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