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Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel

Ghost Walks Tour
Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel

Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel

The Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel was built in 1926 by John Bowman for the Bowman-Biltmore Hotels Corporation, along with George Merrick. Their goal was to build “a great hotel, which would serve as a hostelry to the tourists coming to Coral Gables but also serve as a center of sports and fashion.”

The building of the hotel cost around $10 million and it was the tallest building in the state of Florida. It quickly became a stopping point for some of the nation’s most important and glamorous people. From Hollywood stars to royalty from Europe, became regular visitors. Guests included such names as Judy Garland, Babe Ruth, and Al Capone. Even Franklin D. Roosevelt visited often during his presidential vacations.

Many Guests came to see the aquatic shows held in the hotel’s huge swimming pool. The pool was once the largest hotel pool in the world, and today it still holds the record as the largest hotel pool in the continental United States. Each week, performers might include alligator wrestlers, synchronized swimmers. Before becoming famous as “Tarzan,” actor Johnny Weissmuller was a swimming instructor at the hotel.

It continued to be a popular destination thru 1930s, but during World War 2 the site became the Army Air Forces Regional Hospital. Later it became the first site of the University of Miami’s School of Medicine, and it continued to serve as a veteran’s hospital until 1968.

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by cnkguy
Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel

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