Architecture, Key West
Audubon House on 205 Whitehead St. was built by Capt. John Geiger in 1844. He was a wrecker. There is an admission fee of $10 for adults now.
The house was not actually Audubon's. He just stayed there for awhile when he was doing his famous bird paintings for his book.
The house has many beautiful antiques. At this time, you enter through the museum store (which is new since our day).
Fondest memory: On our first visit to Key West in 1960, I was about 4 months pregnant with our first child. We lived in a little house on Patterson St. for two months. At that time we toured Audubon House -- and my husband took my picture sitting in the garden in a white dress with a pleated skirt. We went back in the winter of 2005 and my husband took my picture again (photo 3). There are two pictures of the dining room (1961 and 2005) and one 2005 picture of the music room.
Key West architecture was one of my interests. Key West houses were built to withstand hurricanes and deal with heat and humidity. They used hand hewn wood put together with pegs because plaster cracks and decays in high humidity and nails were scarce. The houses were very elaborate with lots of gingerbread (like photo 2 which was the residence of Antonio Diaz Carasco who was the Cuban Consul to the US from 1906 to 1915)
They took advantage of the fact that heat rises and put 'scuttles' in the roof which could be propped open to let the heat out. Nowadays they have solar panels on the roof too (fourth photo) They had shutters which hinged from the top (on the left of the photo) and overhanging rooflines (called eyebrow houses (on the right of the photo and also photo five) to keep the sun out of the windows.
Another type house was the 'shotgun house' where the rooms were in a line from the front to the back door.
Fondest memory: Key West has the largest collection (nearly 3000) of frame structures in a National Register of Historic Districts.
There are Old Island Days House and Garden Tours (usually Jan, Feb and March) when you can see inside some of the private homes. There is a fee. You can start at the individual homes, or from Mallory Square (305-294-4501).
One of Key West's beautiful buildings (I think this was a government office or something like that).... which you can appreciate all around the town!!
I love the small towns with distinctive architecture, and Key West has some buildings you can't easily see elsewhere in the USA. I also love the towns where the houses and buildings are as colorful and different from each other - yet uniform in style - as they are in Key West... I think this is what made me love this place more than anything else!
Fondest memory: Take a walk on the four block stretch of William Street from Windsor Lane to Caroline Street for an overview of the typical Key West architecture: wooden picket fences and typical Key West roofs and porches.
Favorite thing: 401 Duval Street - right in the heart of the drinking district. I'm sure plenty of 12-step organizations meet here. The congregation dates back to 1832 - they just celebrated their 170th anniversary. Appropriately for Key West, this is a very gay-friendly church.
Favorite thing: Key West has a tremendous concentration of beautifully built and well-kept Victorian homes. The streets immediately east of Duval are particularly rich in lovely mansions.
Favorite thing: This must be a great place for those interested in historic restoration and preservation. I'm sure you could pick up a lot of tips at the local hardware stores.
The Hemingway house in Key West!
Fondest memory: Taking the tour in Hemingway's house and Spending a full day on the beach with my brother and his family, Great weather!
Favorite thing: You can also find plenty of cool architecture just walking up and down the streets. We ran into this one on our way to the southern most point in the US.
take your time and browse this area. The paintwork on these buildings is pretty incredible.
Fondest memory: Visiting the blue heaven...