This was the first house restored by the Key West Foundation, which saved it from destruction in 1958 and opened it to the public to raise funds to restore other houses. We toured it in 1961 when I was pregnant with my first child.
The home was built in the 1840s by Captain John H. Geiger, a harbor pilot and master wrecker, who lived in the house with his wife and nine children.
In 1832 (which would be before the house was built), Audubon visited the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas. Audubon 'collected' (i.e. shot and killed) 18 new birds for his "Birds of America" folio while he stayed here and it is believed that many of those drawings were done on or near this site. He arranged the dead birds in life-like poses so he could get every detail correct. His painting of the white-crowned pigeon features the Geiger tree found in the front yard of the house.
The house is furnished with antiques of the period and there is an audio tour. I understand that there is now an art gallery in addition to the store. You can order from the store on-line. There are garden tours which discuss the native plants and butterflies, and art classes are given in the garden. The museum is open daily from 9:30am-5:00pm. If you go to the website you can print out an $1.00 off coupon for adult admission. A child's admission is $4.50, and an adult is $10.00.
the audubon house and garden was built by capt. john geiger in the early 19th century. john james audubon a famous ornithologist visited the house in 1832. he found 18 new bird species on his visit to key west and the dry tortugas. it is believed that he painted them for his "birds of america folio" while at the geiger house. the audubon house is furnished with period antiques and has on display 28 first edition audubon prints. an interesting historic house and museum to visit in key west.
The Audubon House & Gardens commemorates the naturalist John James Audubon, who arrived in Key West in 1832 and drew birds that he spotted. Many of the drawings are believed to have been made in the garden. Much of his work is on display and for sale in the museum.
The house, built by Captain John H. Gieger in the 19th century, is full of antiques and will give an idea of what life was like on Key West during his time.
Admission is charged. Audio tours are available. Hours are 9:30am-5pm daily.
The Audubon House & Tropical Gardens were constructed in the 18th Century for Captain John H. Geiger. Geiger was a harbor pilot and resided here with his wife and 9 children. In 1832 John James Audubon visited the keys and spent much of his time here at the Geigers' house. During his visit Audubon sketched 18 new birds, one of which was sketched in front of a tree at this house.
Today the house offers a beautiful one-acre garden surrounding a house that contains 28 original first-edition Audubon paintings. The paintings are displayed on all three floors of the historic home.
Admission Rates are Adults - $10, students - $6.50, children 6-12 - $5, and children under 6 - free. The house and garden also host weddings, but admission is a bit more for the formal events!
The historic marker in front of the Audubon House reads:
Captain John H. Geiger, skilled pilot and master
wrecker, built this house in 1830. It is typical
of the era when, in 1832, the famed naturalist,
John James Audubon, visited Key West to study
and sketch the birds of the Florida Keys. On
March 18, 1860, Mitchell Wolfson, native son
of Key West, and Mrs. Wolfson, also a native
Floridian, dedicated the house as a public museum
to be named Audubon House, commemorating
the artist's visit to Key West. Furnished with
antiques of the period, the museum proudly
exhibits numerous original Audubon engravings.
This restoration sparked the preservation and
restoration movement in Key West.
Historical association in Southern Florida.
Beautiful place, and I will not give you a bunch of history, you can check it out on this cool site below.