As much as I miss Dallas, Coral Gables, FL (aka the
“City Beautiful”) is truly an amazing place to live. Located just six miles
west of downtown Miami, when you’re driving along the Gables’ banyan-canopied streets past bubbling fountains and
Mediterranean piazzas, chances are you’ll forget you’re in the center of
Florida’s largest metropolis… and that’s just how developer George Merrick
envisioned it almost a century ago.
George Merrick is the founding father of the City
Beautiful. In addition to the Mediterranean Revival style that is synonymous
with Coral Gables, there are a few architectural gems that remain thanks to a
lesser known project of Merrick’s – The Village Project. The
Village Project was designed to create over 1,000 residences based on
architecture from around the world. The idea was to provide a variety of architectural
styles beyond the Mediterranean that had become the gold standard in Coral
depression which followed destroyed Merrick’s hopes of completing the
project. Yet, today 80 homes from The
Village Project remain in the Chinese Village, the Italian Village, the Dutch South African
Village, the French Provincial Village, the French Country Village, the French City Village, and the
Florida Pioneer/Colonial Village.
step inside 5125 Riviera Drive – an historic home and a Coral Gables icon that
just hit the market for the first time in 32 years.
Riviera Drive, Coral Gables, Florida – artwork by Laura Mullaney
of Oriental architecture, the Chinese Village is one of the most exotic
examples of 1920s residential architecture in the United States.
5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths
3,375 square feet
Year built: 1925
Style: Chinese Pagoda
Location: Coral Gables, Florida
causing my mind to run wild with possibilities.
Therefore, I have called in Beth
Connolly from Chinoiserie Chic. Beth is the queen bee of all things Chinoiserie,
chic, and fabulous… and this Chinese casa has her name all over it.
Beth will provide some incredible design inspiration, created to glam up this
fabulous Chinese masterpiece. In the meantime, let’s take a look at its current
state. All images from www.ChineseVillageHouse.com.
linked by a common wall and ornamental gates and details suggesting a
“compound” arrangement. The homes feature bright yellow, blue, red or green glazed
ceramic roof tiles, circular “moon” windows and gates, Chinese fretwork , and traditional
statues of good luck animals (such as foo dogs).
elaborately detailed houses with their brilliant primary colors accurately
reflect the temple or palace architecture of the imperial “Forbidden City”
of ancient China.
detail is imbued with Asian symbolism usually lost on Westerners and based on
concepts of Chinese cosmology such as feng shui (geomancy) and Taoism.
The use of
screen walls to face the main entrance of the house stems from the belief that
evil things travel in straight lines.
chosen for their symbolism as well. Red is the most auspicious color and
signifies luck, happiness, health and prosperity.
brides wear something red on their wedding day and red lanterns are hung on New
Year’s Day and weddings. Also, talismans and imagery of good fortune such as
“door gods” are displayed on doorways to ward off evil and encourage
the flow of good fortune.
additional information on this fabulous home, please click here. And don’t forget to check back Monday for design inspiration
provided by Beth Connolly at Chinoiserie Chic!