Key West is full of history, making it a dream place to visit for history buffs. On our tiny 2 x 4 mile island, you will find a ton of areas and properties designated as historical. There are four designations that exist on our island to show historical significance:
- National Register Plaques: The National Register of Historic Places, a program of the National Park Service, is the official list of historic places deserving of preservation nationwide. Commemorative National Register of Historic Places plaques are up to the interest of the property owner,
- Florida Historic Markers: The Florida Division of Historical Resources designed this program to raise public awareness of Florida’s rich cultural history and to enhance the enjoyment of historic sites by citizens and tourists,
- Key West Historic Markers: Historic sites and buildings significant to Key West and discussed in a free audio walking tour, and
- Preservation Stars: Awards given out by the Historic Florida Keys Foundation to recognize excellence for preservation, restoration, rehabilitation and new construction.
There are 17 National Register of Historic Places designations in Key West proper. This does not even include Dry Tortugas and other areas offshore.
- The Armory, added 1971 – 600 White St.
- Baldwin House, added 1970 – 336 Duval St.
- Fort Zachary Taylor, added 1971 – U.S. Naval Station
- Eduardo H. Gato House, added 1973 – Also known as Mercedes Hospital 1209 Virginia St.
- HA. 19 (Japanese Midget Submarine), added 1989 – Also known as Japanese Midget Submarine “C” NAS Key West
- Ernest Hemingway House, added 1968 – 907 Whitehead St.
- INGHAM (USCGC), added 1992 – Also known as U.S. Coast Guard Cutter INGHAM (WPG-35) East quay at the Truman Waterfront (at the end of Southard St.)
- Key West Historic District, added 1971 – Also known as Old Section of the City of Key West bounded approximately by White, Angela, Windsor, Passover, Thomas and Whitehead Sts., and the Gulf of Mexico
- Key West Historic District (Boundary Increase), added 1983 – Also known as See Also:Key West Historic District roughly bounded by Emma, Whitehead, White, and South Sts., Mallory Square, and the Atlantic Ocean
- Little White House, added 1974 – Also known as Quarters “A” Naval Station
- Martello Gallery – Key West Art and Historical Museum, (added 1972 – Also known as East Martello Tower S. Roosevelt Blvd.
- Old Post Office and Customs House, added 1973 – Front St.
- Dr. Joseph Y. Porter House, added 1973 – 429 Caroline St.
- Sloppy Joe’s Bar, added 2006 – Also known as FMSF#MO011964 201 Duval St.
- Thompson Fish House, Turtle Cannery and Kraals, added 1994 – 200 Margaret St.
- U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Key West Station, added 1973 – Also known as US Navy Coal Depot and Storehouse; Building #1 NW corner Front St. and Whitehead St.
- US Naval Station, added 1984 – Roughly bounded by Whitehead, Eaton, and Caroline Sts.
There are 25 Florida Historical Markers in Key West alone. Some of these are also on the National Register of Historic Places.
1. WILLIAM LOWE DELANEY/ THEODORE HOLTSBERG HOUSE: 323 Whitehead St.
2. MARTIN HELLINGS HOUSE/ KEY WEST WOMAN’S CLUB: 319 Duval St.
3. 1st U.S. FLAG OVER KEY WEST: Mallory Square, in front of Waterfront Playhouse
4. AFRICAN CEMETERY AT HIGGS BEACH: Atlantic Blvd., Near White St.
5. CONVENT OF MARY IMMACULATE: Truman Ave. between Simonton and Margaret Streets
6. FIRST TRAIN TO KEY WEST: Storage
7. KEY WEST CEMETERY: Passover Ln near Angela St.
8. KEY WEST, SOUTH FLORIDA’S OLDEST CITY: Duval & Front Streets
9. OLD CITY HALL: 510 Greene St.
10. PORTER’S ANTI-PIRATE FLEET: 625 Truman Ave.
11. SOUTH FLORIDA’S FIRST PUBLIC LIBRARY: 700 Fleming St.
12. ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH: 401 Duval St.
13. THE TRUMAN LITTLE WHITE HOUSE: 111 Front St.
14. WILLIAM CURRY’S SONS – (Founded 1845 as Bowne & Curry): 3501 South Roosevelt Blvd.
15. FORT TAYLOR: 601 Howard England Way
16. KEY WEST ARMORY: 600 White St.
17. E.H. GATO CIGAR FACTORY: 1100 Simonton St.
18. THE PATTERSON-BALDWIN HOUSE: 336 Duval St.
19. EDUARDO H. GATO HOUSE: 1327 Duval St.
20. NAVAL DEPOT AND STOREHOUSE; BUILDING ONE; U.S. COAST GUARD HEADQUARTERS: 291 Front St.
21. UNITED STATES WEATHER BUREAU: 57 Front St.
22. MILTON W. CURRY HOUSE: 511 Caroline St.
23. PHILIP L. COSGROVE HOUSE: 321 Whitehead St.
24. ALEXANDER CRUZ/ JULIA GARDNER HOUSE: 403 East St.
25. J. VINING AND FLORIDA CURRY HARRIS HOUSE: 407 South St.
As for the Key West Historic Markers, there are many, and some are also found on either the National Register of Historic Places, the State of Florida Historical Markers, or both. These are broken up into several categories such as (but not limited to) Historic District, Military, Downtown, New Town, Cigar Industry, Architectural, Church, and Maritime. There are about 120 Historic Markers in Key West, so I am not going to list all of these for you here. You will just have to check out the self guided tour! The island has the largest historic district of frame buildings in the United States, so no wonder there are so many listings!
To see what is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events. And for more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.
Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!