AJW presents…Comber Hall
1251 Palermo Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Located at the Church of the Little Flower in the heart of Coral Gables, FL.
In March of 1926, Bishop Barry of the Diocese of St. Augustine, together with George Merrick and officers of the Coral Gables Corporation, announced that a new church named the Church of the Little Flower would be built in Coral Gables. Father Thomas Comber was selected to be the first pastor of the new parish. The first structure to be built would be the parish center and auditorium which would also serve as a temporary church until the larger church was constructed. Construction on the parish hall began on August 5th, 1927 and was dedicated at a Solemn High Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, 1927 – lauded in the local newspapers as, “One of the most noteworthy and significant events in the history of Coral Gables.” The advent of World War II brought many servicemen to Miami and the Church of the Little Flower assisted in the Civil Defense Program by giving first aid courses, making bandages and studying the duties of air raid wardens and fire wardens.
In the Church hall, Dade County Casualty Station Number 9 was established. After the war, the growth of South Florida and Coral Gables literally exploded and the need for a larger church quickly became evident. Construction of the main church began in 1951 and was completed a year and a half later, when the church was dedicated on December 8th, 1952 – the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the original church. In 1981, during the Mariel refugee influx, the parish hall sheltered sixty-four adolescents until sponsoring families were found for them. In April of 1989, the parish hall was designated by the City of Coral Gables as a local historic landmark and after a major renovation and restoration to return it to its original 1926 splendor later the same year, the church hall was rededicated “Comber Hall” as a tribute to the parish’s founding pastor. Since then, the hall has become one of the most prominent event spaces in Coral Gables and the South Florida area.