Sunday, May 15, 2016

Aloha to Miami - The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables

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 pool was created in 1923 from a coral rock quarry, where much of the original coral rock was used to border and further accentuate the pool. It also features two large historic lookout towers, with a view to the City Beautiful.

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.

George Merrick envisioned creating a City with Mediterranean features such as grand entrances, plazas, and Mediterranean style homes. The limestone which was taken from the Venetian Pool quarry pit was used to create some of the original neighboring buildings.

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.

I spent many summers at the Venetian Pool!  Do you have a favorite watering hole? One randomly selected commenter from this week's blog posts wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Saturday, May 21, 10 pm in Baltimore. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 22.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


  1. I have to say Cocoa Beach, FL. We have an uncle that rents a place and we've visited maybe 3 or 4 times.

  2. I love the pictures and the history. I do not really have a favorite watering hole.

  3. Don't have a favorite, but would love to visit the Venetian Pool after looking at these pics.

  4. No - but I wish I did! That Venetian pool looks wonderful!

  5. No, nothing in this area like that. Super pics thanks for sharing.

  6. The food was always great, I think they just updated their menu and it's off the hook. Who would expect delicious pizza at such big events. Not me, but you can get some of the best pizza at San Francisco venues. The best place in this area.