According to its former president Robert Hofmann, Coral Ridge Properties merely “prepared the table” so that builders would have the best setting for their wares. Dozens of builders descended on Coral Springs to construct models of their latest styles. Buyers from the north were excited by the prospect of using swimming pools and screened porches year round. Prospective residents from Broward County liked the large lots and the feasibility of having a stable on their property.
At first the only way to choose a house was from builders’ brochures that featured a drawing and floor plan. Prices were not printed as they were subject to change once demand increased. My favorite advertisement was for ‘The Allegro’ model because it is the only one in the collection with a price stamped on it- $27,750 for a house with four bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, family room, screened patio and two-car garage.
As subdivisions were carved out of scrub and roads paved, various contractors would build along the model rows. There were colonial-styled houses named Georgian, Virginian, Princeton, New England and Lexington with columns and hanging lanterns. As a nod to the 1976 Bicentennial, President, Centennial, Freedom and Monroe models were built. Spanish architecture was a sought-after novelty for some. Capri, Casa Bella, La Maria, Villa de Sol and Don Quixote models appeared in exotic stucco and tile roof splendor. There were dozens more, some evoking England- Avon, Cambridge, Camelot, Park Lane and Waterford, others suggesting glamour- Diamond, Monaco, Tiffany, Royale and Bordeaux.
Was there significance to these monikers? Somehow houses named Models I or II didn’t seem as interesting as the Birches, Montereys, Buena Vistas, etc. Yet I have forgotten the name of the model I carefully chose 11 years ago. So what was the point? Maybe it was the suggestion of an exceptional life style. One that would soon transform into living in Coral Springs instead of The Dover.