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Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel (1926), view10, 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, FL, USA

(PID:31177460845) Source
posted by Steve Minor alias lumierefl on Tuesday 22nd of November 2016 03:33:07 PM

Miami est. 1896, pop. 2.6MM • Coral Gables est. 1925, pop. 50K • designed by architect Leonard Schultze (1877-1951) teamed w/partner S. Fullerton Weaver (1879-1939), Schultze and Weaver • other commissions included Atlanta & Los Angeles Biltmores, New York’s Grand Central station & Waldorf-Astoria, Palm Beach’s Breakers & Miami’s Ingraham Building & Miami News (Freedom) Tower • 26-story tower is a replica of the Giralda Bell Tower (1198) of the Cathedral of Seville, Spain • Coral Gables founder George E. Merrick (1886–1942) partnered with Biltmore hotel magnate John McEntee Bowman to build "a great hotel...which would not only serve as a hostelry to the crowds thronging to Coral Gables but also would serve as a center of sports and fashion." • 25 Nov, 1924, 200 Miami business & civic leaders gathered for a dinner to celebrate the Merrick/Bowman deal • Bowman announced $10 million project to include 400-room hotel, country club, two golf courses, polo fields, tennis courts, a bridle path, fox hunting, a casino & huge 150' x 225' swimming pool where Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984), star of "Tarzan" movies & Olympic swimmer, broke his first world record • grand opening 15 Jan, 1926 • two deluxe trains marked "Miami Biltmore Specials" delivered 1000 VIPs from New York • overflow crowd of 1,500 guests attended opening dinner with dancing to the music of 3 orchestras, one led by star bandleader Paul Whiteman • one of the most fashionable resorts in US • guests included The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Ginger Rogers, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, President Franklin D. Roosevelt & gangster Al Capone • Sunday aquatic shows drew up to 3,000 spectators to see synchronized swimming, alligator wrestling, bathing beauties & novelty acts • During the 1940s, used as an army hospital • windows sealed w/concrete, floors covered w/linoleum, bldg. painted battleship gray • was Veterans Administration hospital until 1968 • early site of U. Of Miami's School of Medicine • acquired by city, 1973 • vacant for 10 years • $55MM restoration as 4 star hotel, 1983-1987 • closed, 1990 • purchased by Seaway Hotels Corp, 1992 • after 10-yr. $40MM renovation, including restoration of largest hotel swimming pool in US, reopened as luxury hotel • Wikipedia • National Register #72000306, 1972 • designated National Historic Landmark, 1996

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  • Published 05.17.21
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