The Venetian Pool is an aquatic facility unlike any other in the country. It has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world, and is still one of the main tourist attractions for those visiting the City of Coral Gables.
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's beauty is further accentuated by its loggias, porticos, palm trees and signature bridge. It truly is an unforgettable experience!
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 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.
In 1989, the pool's first historical renovation was completed. Between 2009 and 2010 the pool underwent a second renovation. However, the pool's original rich history can still be observed as you walk through the entry fountain room and gaze upon its historic photographs, reminding patrons of an era long gone by.