Historic OldTown, Key West
Although I didn't personally get to see the Curry Mansion Inn, several in our group did, and had nothing but good to say of it. The tour was free and they were able to go all over the building except for rooms where the doors were closed, as in rooms where guests were currently staying. They were even able to go up on the roof and get a good view over the surroundings. I just wish there had been time for the rest of us to get around to see it as well.
Find it at 511 Caroline Street
On our way down Duval street from Mallory Square we came across a free tour of a home that said it was the oldest home in Key West. The tour was free, and although the house was small, it is completely furnished with the furnishings and portraits of the original family and was very interesting. It has a lovely backyard with a separate cookhouse, the only remaining cookhouse in Key West. there are also benches and public bathrooms. I loved the huge lime trees in the backyard too. This house is a great side trip from the shopping and other landmarks in the area.
The house is located at 322 Duval Street, open 10am to 4pm daily except Sunday and Wednesday.
Because of the Depression, in 1934, Key West was bankrupt, and by some estimates, as many as 85 percent of its inhabitatns were on relief.
Governor Sholtz appointed Julius Stone, Florida's administrator for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), to assess the situation. Mr. Stone decided that the rundown city needed rehabilitation and a general beautification program to make it attractive as a tourist resort.
The Public Works of Art Project brought in artists from other parts of the country and put them to work creating paintings, murals or public places, and other projects, such as tourist brochures and postcards. An art gallery was established, where artists could sell their work, and art and craft classes were made available to adults and children. A choral society and dramatic organization was organized and a week-long festival was created, culminating in a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance.
Jeanne Taylor was one of these artists. From Holly Springs, Mississippi, Taylor studied at the St. Louis School of Art, and taught drawing and painting at the Key West Art Center. In 1966, she had this little studio and antique shop. She directed excavation of East Martello Tower and became the first curator of the East Martello Museum.
St. Paul's was the first church to be built in Key West. The original structure built in 1838 was constructed of coral rock. In 1846, the church was destroyed by a hurricane. A new wooden frame church was built but also destroyed by fire in 1886. In 1909, a hurricane again destroyed the structure. Finally in 1919, the concrete structure that you see today was built.
If you are doing the ghost tour this will be one of your stops. Interesting story about a Captain who haunts the area.
Located on corner of Duval and Eaton, across from Wendy's.
Fleming Street abounds with many of the characteristic house styles of the island. Look at the scrollwork on the porches, upstairs and down, with designs of palm trees, pineapples, and spindles. The 1880s eyebrow houses are also in this street.
The house you see below was once moved a few feet off its foundation piers during a heavy hurricane and replaced. Its bright peach color is unusual in Key West. It is also referred to as the Illingsworth house, after its first owner.
- Eyebrow houses: two-story homes where the second-story windows are partially covered by the roof, thus resembling eyebrows. Especially suited for hot climates.
- Gingerbread: decorative carved details, generally on Victorian houses. Mass produced and/or individually designed.
Self-guiding tours: Pelican Path - a route marked with pelican signs - leads visitors through historic Key West. A Descriptive brochure outlining the tour can be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce.Mallory Square, 402 Wall St., phone (305)294-2587
408 Duval St., Key West, Old Town
The judge didn't like company, so he built two guest houses for company. So many beautiful houses here, you could never see them all in a month!
Take a trolley ride through the city. It passes by all the nice houses. Start of the tour: somewhere at Mallory Square.