The largest house on the largest lot in the French City Village, one of the seven historic themed villages in Coral Gables, is a devastatingly charming 5,716 square foot number with four bedrooms, six baths, and a large octagonal pool.
Meant to evoke, well, a french city house, like a smart townhouse just off a boulevard maybe, or at the corner of a charming square, the house was designed by Philip L. Goodwin, the Beaux Arts architect who teamed up with modernist Edward Durell Stone to design the original, Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was built in 1925 by Coral Gables’ master developer, George Merrick, fourteen years before Goodwin worked with Stone on the museum. Goodwin designed half of the homes in the French City Village, while architect Mott B. Schmidt designed the others.
The house preserves original french architectural details, including its neoclassical facade, the mouldings in the teal-colored salon, tall french doors, and gorgeous chandeliers. The interior flooring is “a combination of original Dade County Pine, 150 year old hand cut limestone and marble reclaimed from the South of France and Andalusia,” according to the broker’s blurb. Out back, a colonnaded belvedere looks out over the lush lot, with specimen palm trees, fruit trees, a large pergola festooned with orchids, and a formal English Rose Garden.
Located at 1030 Hardee Road, the house was sold in 1999 for $1.2 million, and got a full restoration in 2000 by the new owners, who appear to have happily lived in it for the next 19 years. Of course, judging purely by the house and the furniture and just how perfect everything is, even if whoever owns it lived there unhappily for 19 years, they’d probably want everyone to think they lived there happily anyways. Appearances can be so important. Plus they affect property values. So, it’s a moot point. They finally put it on the market in March of 2019 for $4,250,000, and less than a month later cut the price to where it sits now, at $3,995,000.