Last week, I visited my "home town" of Coral Gables, a suburb of Miami. I lived in Coral Gables until high school ... so this was a trip down memory lane. First stop - the Venetian Pool. From its website (link),
The 820,000 gallon pool is fed with spring water from an underground aquifer. In the spring and summer seasons, the pool is filled and drained daily!
Of course the aquifer is not the only feature that enhances a visitor’s experience. There are two waterfalls that provide a scenic backdrop as well as the cave-like grottos which provide a fun experience for swimmers.
The Venetian pool was opened in 1924 as the “Venetian Casino,” which was part of the Grand Plan George Merrick had for the City of Coral Gables. His vision for his city was to embody a sense of true hometown living.
With the efforts of George Merrick, artist Denman Fink, and architect Phineas Paist, the pool was transformed into a paradise that today is included in the National Register of Historic Places, the only swimming pool to have such a designation.
In its early days, the “Venetian Casino” was the destination for many celebrities, including such movie stars as Johnny Weismuller (above) and Esther Williams. The pool was also a site for orchestrated concerts, in which the pool was emptied of its 820,000 gallons of water and the orchestra would perform on the pool bottom. Many years later in 2001, this scene was duplicated as a concert which was held on the bottom of the pool to commemorate the City of Coral Gables’ 75th Birthday.
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