If you haven’t had the opportunity to tour, or at least drive by, the six unique themed villages scattered throughout Coral Gables, you’re in for an architectural treat. When George Merrick created the Gables, one of the country’s first fully planned communities, in 1925, it was inspired primarily by Mediterranean-style architecture. Later, to attract more homebuyers to the area, he envisioned 14 residential subdivisions, each inspired by a distinct international region. Only six were built, and only 80 of the 1,000 planned homes, before the project was derailed in 1928, when Merrick fell into debt.
One such village still stands today on Santa Maria Street, south of the Biltmore Hotel and bordering the Riviera Country Club golf course. Architects John Pierson and John and Coulton Skinner designed the Florida Pioneer Village (also called the Colonial Village) in the style of the stately homes lining the streets of late 19th- and early 20th-century New England.
The five residences, which were included in the Santa Maria Street Historic District as of November 2007, were constructed in 1925-1926 and include 4320, 4409, 4515, 4520, and 4620 Santa Maria Street. (They are located on the central part of the street, though they are not all in a row.)
If you take a cruise down the street, you’ll notice the homes’ Colonial Revival influence, from the stately two-story porches and perfectly symmetrical facades down to the picket fences. At that time in New England, architects were taking design cues from Georgian-style buildings in Europe and England. In the years since their construction, the homes have undergone many renovations, but they are still impressive to behold.
Though these properties are understandably rarely on the market, you can take a peek at 4520 on Zillow. If you are interested in living near the Florida Pioneer Village, would like to be contacted immediately if one of these homes comes on the market, or are simply searching for a home with similar Colonial Revival or Georgian style architecture, contact me today to learn about what’s available.