Women shopping at the intersection of Miracle Mile and Ponce de Leon Blvd, 1952. Image courtesy of Coral Gables Historical Resources.

The story of Coral Gables’ signature street, Miracle Mile, is one of leadership, resilience, and adaptation. By learning about the street’s evolution, one can understand how the new streetscape master plan, scheduled to break ground this spring, is a necessary part of the street’s lifecycle and how advancements such as these have the ability to shape and make a place. Today, with over 150 ground floor businesses on the Mile and hundreds more upper-level office spaces, the future of the Mile will greatly impact the economic vitality of Coral Gables and surrounding communities.

Many individuals and groups helped to establish, brand and improve the Mile over the decades. In the 1920s, City founder George Merrick established the business section of Coral Gables and planted seeds for its healthy development. In the 1940s, after the lackluster years of the Great Depression and World War II, a handful of developers and businesses invested in and rebranded the area, and in 1955, as a result of their efforts, the four-block strip of Coral Way was officially renamed “Miracle Mile.”

Though outside factors, such as competing shopping malls and economic slumps, threatened the area over the second half of the century, the Mile has prospered through the organized efforts of progressive property and business owners who formed the Miracle Mile Merchants Association in the 1950s and then eventually established the Business Improvement District in 1997. This exhibit aims to honor the movers and shakers of Miracle Mile’s past and celebrate the vitality of its future.

Miracle Mile: The Evolution of a Street is curated by Caroline Parker Santiago, Interim Director and Victoria Gonzalez, Curatorial Assistant.