Coral Gables

Coral Gables Advertisement, 1926

On April 25, 1926 an advertisement published in the Dallas Morning News (Section VI, page 15) reads, “Coral Gables! A touch of beautiful and exquisite Florida transplanted to Dallas! Of course, you have heard of Coral Gables of Miami, Florida. Million upon millions of dollars were expended in creating possibly the most beautiful and exclusive subdivision in the world at Coral Gables, Florida. It is a “show place of the first water”. Coral Gables in Dallas is not the name of a subdivision, but is the name we have given a unique, Spanish cottage home, now being erected [on Seevers Avenue] in the most beautiful subdivision in Dallas – Beckley Club. We have named this home Coral Gables for two reasons. First, because it, like the original Coral Gables, is of the finest and unique in its class; second, it is of Spanish type, with numerous unusual and attractive features. For instance, it has a lovely patio, enclosed on three sides by the walls of the house, the other side being a low, brick wall with wrought iron gate. There will be a tinkling fountain in the patio, with basin for gold fish and water lilies. The garage, of brick the same as the dwelling, is an integral part of the house so that when the owner drives in the garage he is practically in the house itself. An ultra modern arrangement and one that is certain to become popular here as it has in many other places, such as Coral Gables, Florida. Truly, to the lover of the unique, rustic and beautiful in a small home, Coral Gables is a “Dream Home”. It is the “last word” in the new-old Spanish type of small house; and if you contemplate buying a home, or a lot upon which you expect to build, it behooves you to see Coral Gables. Coral Gables is being built of a light cream brick with mortar to match, giving it the appearance of stucco at a little distance. The roof is to be of genuine clay tile, such as only the very finest homes have. The gables – three in number – are brick to the roof. The porches are all of concrete and everlasting. Even the garage hardware is massive and in keeping with the improvements. This lovely Spanish “Hacienda” is located in a veritable park of oak and cedar trees. Clumps of fine young oaks occupy a corner of the patio, their branches over the roof of the garage. From the Living Porch in the rear of the house there is the “Bright Angel’s Trail” leading to the bank of the lake, ten feet deep, where the owner of this home may indulge in fishing, boating and swimming – without leaving home! This is a home of surprises. In addition to the unusual features mentioned, there are other surprises in store for visitors to Coral Gables, in beautiful Beckley Club such, doubtless, as you have never seen before. […] S.A. Temple, Owner”.

BCE Coral Gables Advertisement, 1926

An article by Idalea Andrews Hunt, titled “Coral Gables, Dream Spot in Beckley, Opens”, was published May 16, 1926 in the Dallas Morning News (Section IX, page 1). It reads: “Did you ever motor leisurely along avenues of homes, just houses provided with walls and roofs and the requisite number of windows and doors, and then suddenly catch your breath and gaze in silent wonderment at a house really worthy of the appellation “home” – one which makes you fight down the desire for immediate possession? Such is Coral Gables, that charming bit of Florida’s wonderland transplanted to Beckley Club, one of Dallas’ newest additions, which will be formally opened to the public Sunday. Truly, Aladdin, with the aid of his marvelous lamp, never saw anything in the Arabian Nights more wonderful. It is a place of dreams, a symphony of sylvan music – a place of romance, where one can read the poetry of life to the heart’s content. The small house of today is no less a masterpiece of architectural skill and artistic achievement than the princely mansion. But it is only once in a blue moon, that the ideal occurs as one finds manifested here, when the owner, the architect and the landscape gardener have worked together in its evolution. The site chosen is hardly eclipsed by the famous sections of Florida or California. The dwelling nestles in a virgin grove of great oaks and cedar flanked at the rear by a picturesque rugged ravine, backed by entrancing woodland and bordered by tangled native shrubs. Upon a visit to this “dream house”, all will feel with Emerson, “That each should in his home abide, therefore is the world so wide”. And all will declare with finality that we were not intended to be piled up like bricks in a wall, but each to a have a home worthy the name; to have a more intimate knowledge of our inheritance of the earth and a better appreciation of its beauty and usefulness. Such a charming home makes the beholder wonder at the blinding spell of narrow, crowded, city lots. It makes you wonder why not every one builds a bit of a house out, where trees grow, and birds warble in happy abandonment. For such spots in God’s great out-of-doors are so responsive to our overtures of friendship. For one seed down one reaps a thousand fold and for a little affection a constantly changing panorama of beauty and a full measure and running over of happiness. This dwelling is a happy combination of substantiality, practicability, and artistic achievement in a wholly modern Spanish type into which an American spirit has been breathed through the skill of a discriminating architect.

BCE Coral Gables Advertisement, 1926

Through the guidance of the owner, Sydney A. Temple, it was built to express individuality; to honor the community. The walls are of sand toned vitrified brick, crowned with a coral tile roof. The great outside chimney is gemmed with a Spanish galleon. A similar one tops the weather vane that points skyward from the gabled end of the garage, which is an integral part of the house. Entrance to the dwelling is gained through the patio garden, with its picturesque brick wall and wrought iron gate. Here the splash and play of the fountain with its exquisite child figure arrests the attention. Even the most prosaic soul will stand entranced as its gossamer mist floats out over the colorful flowers that encircle its basin and walks. The dancing shadows cast by the towering oak and sentinel cedars hard by throw fantastic arabesques over the mirrored surface of the water in which myriads of gold fish glimmer. One might say that the house is built about this charming bit of a garden. From it one enters the living room, yet upon stepping over the threshold, one for a time is unconscious of the interior, for through a large plate glass window in the opposite wall, an enchanted woodland beyond becomes the point of interest. The beauty of the scene quite overpowers the beholder. Think of a living room where one can commune with nature in all her moods! Then, for a time, one is oblivious of the lovely appointments of this room, even the great fireplace, as the opened terrace door to the left of this window invites you to step out onto the exposed tiled porch with its exquisite wrought iron railing. From this vantage point, one can look down the banks of the ravine below and watch the crystalline waters dash impishly over the spillway. From this point the “Bright Angel’s Trail”, a meandering path, leads down to the water’s edge. It is here that the joys of canoeing and fishing will be the province of the future owner of Coral Gables. Returning to the home, one discovers that the living room is flanked at the right by two charmingly appointed bedrooms and the daintiest of bathrooms, while the left exit leads into the dining room, with its quaint colorful lacquered furniture, a striking modern note in decoration. Adjoining is the kitchen with its many innovations and crisp curtains and the bright cheerful breakfast room. Here, while sipping morning coffee the song of the host of birds in which the trees abound will float through those low casement windows as one feasts on the beauty of the sun drenched woodlands. Throughout family needs have regulated design and there are many distinguishing features incorporated that blend stern utility and artistry. The furnishings favored are an object lesson for those who feel that a limited bank account is a barrier to the acquisition of an attractive interior. Every room breathes out individuality and beauty, without a hint of the glib and shallow dexterities of the makeshift artisan. Nothing is too fine or too dainty for its uses – one is not intimidated by the silent tyranny of things. Such homely comfort is combined with beauty and true livableness that the owner’s truest friend, his dog, may enter there without rebuke. Within and without this is truly a home with a distinct personality – one that with its grounds of such notable native charm will gain added beauty as the years go by and inspire all beholders to opine with Browning: “O world as God has made it. All is beauty.”