Coral Gables City Hall

As I mentioned, Coral Gables was a planned community at the latter end of the city beautiful movement. The last piece of George Merrick's master plan to be built in 1927 was the city hall, which is the end piece of the miracle mile.
Merrick again brought in Phineas Paist to design the building which sits on an awkward site. The 'front' of the building, seen above, faces the miracle mile as well as the major road through Coral Gables. However, due to that heavy traffic, the entrance was placed at the rear where parking was to be found. See it on googlemaps HERE.
The centerpiece of the building is the square bell tower which includes a clock as well as an actual bell! The building was (and mostly is) visible throughout the entire neighborhood due to its height with its only other competitor at the time it was built being the much taller Biltmore hotel.The seal of the city sits proudly on the front facade.As with any Beaux Arts designed building, function comes first with a very rational plan. Three sides of the building have entrances with the 'front' being the rounded loggia seen at the top of the post. The actual front door is located at the rear of the building, seen below, and is centered on a charming little forecourt.Bordering the court and seperating it from the street is a wood and terracotta loggia which seems to be popular with the smokers of the building!This beautiful balcony above the front entry would just be perfect for mayoral speeches!
The side entry on the quiet side of the building is the employee entrance but is no less grand. I love the green window frames and canvas canopy.The entry which faces the busier street is actually the exit of the building (don't even TRY to walk in that way as I found out!). The building is built of a local stone, the same as Vizcaya, which has imprints of shells and marine life -maybe a type of travertine? These lamp posts had been stuccod over which is now wearing in a charming way.The loggia was probably my favorite part of the building. Wood ceiling beams and decorative brackets sit atop stone columns with marble corinthian capitals.
I love the brick screen and built-in bench.Terra cotta tiles top the loggia as well as the entire building, fitting in with the Mediterranean style.
Who else but Coral Gables could boast such an elegant city hall!

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