The last in my series of posts detailing Coral Gables city planner George Merrick’s seven themed enclaves is the French Country Village. (The other six are: the Florida Pioneer Village, the Italian Village, the French City Village, the French Normandy Village, the Chinese Village, and the Dutch South African Village.) This collection of homes was inspired by 18th-century rural French building design and, unlike the other villages, contains two distinct styles of architecture.
Between 1925 and 1926, leading French-style architect Frank Forster designed a series of country homes and farm buildings, while architects Edgar Albright and Philip L. Goodwin created several bucolic homes that are more reminiscent of rustic chateaux from the era. Together these mini estates form the French Country Village, which is located in the 500 block of Hardee Road.
The 12 romantic properties feature spacious backyards and well-manicured gardens, and some of the facades are covered in lush moss and ivy—straight off a postcard from the European countryside. Key defining architectural elements include classic French mansard roofs, red brick, rounded and square towers, carved wood, and half-timbering. Don’t let the “country farmhouse” label fool you, though; there is something truly regal about these homes, with their iconic turrets and elegant wrought-iron balconies. (A prime specimen is the house at 536 Hardee Road, which sold a couple years ago for $2.2 million. You can peek inside here.)
This provincial village is one of three French-inspired sections within Coral Gardens, and the properties are always in high demand. Other homes that recently changed ownership include 500 Hardee Road, with five bedrooms, three baths, a pool, and a two-car garage, and 524 Hardee Road, with five bedrooms, three and a half baths, back patio and pool. The six-bed, three-bath home at 508 Hardee Road is currently for sale, for the first time since the 1970s. Contact me to visit this special, only-in-Miami realty opportunity.
I hope you have enjoyed my virtual introduction to the wonderfully unique villages of Coral Gables. If you haven’t had a chance to tour them yet in person, get in touch first and I can share the most recent intel about properties that are currently listed or about to hit the market.