Coral Gables is well-known for its many historic landmarks and as the first municipality in Miami-Dade to pass a historic preservation ordinance in 1973. City founder George Merrick carefully planned and designed his dream village in Mediterranean style with elegant plazas, fountains, entrances and public buildings. His creation was a major real estate attraction during the 1920s. The city was founded in 1925, in the midst of the Florida land boom. It was laid out with a commercial district, industrial area, the grand Biltmore Hotel and a surrounding golf course. Merrick also added seven residential villages for a little architectural diversity, each named for their style: Colonial, Chinese, French Normandy, French City, French Country, Italian and Dutch South African. Today, Coral Gables remains carefully preserved in the midst of a construction boom that has impacted both the commercial and residential areas.