2000 Alhambra Circle Coral Gables, FL 33134
This “lighthouse” which has never seen the sea, serves as a testament to founder George Merrick’s vision for the City of Coral Gables, and a time when everyday things could be turned into works of art. The tower is located in the area of north Coral Gables at the Alhambra Circle. The water tower was built in 1924 and consists of two separte structures. The inner circle tank, purely utilitarian in looks and purpose was enclosed in a reinforced concrete and wood frame structure designed to resemble a lighthouse. This concealed the less attractive water tank inside with an aesthetically pleasing and architecturally playful facade. It was used as part of the city’s water supply system. Merrick’s uncle, Denman Fink, designed the lighthouse to encase the utilitarian, steel-frame water tower. Words such as peaceful, surprising, colorful, majestic and historical come to mind when you contemplate the tower. It is a lovely place to relax; it is another hidden gem in the Miami Dade area.
Purchased by Consumer Water Company in 1926, the Alhambra Water Tower was part of the City’s domestic water supply system until 1931 when it was disconnected from the system and abandoned after the utility company started buying water from the City of Miami. In response to citizen outery to save the tower from demolition, the City purchased it for a token sum in 1958, thus avoiding the destruction of this unique landmark. In 1993 the tower was extensively restored based upon 1924 photographs. The Alhambra Water Tower was listed in the Coral Gables Register of Historic Places in 1998.