Key West Historic Homes and Architecture

July 7th, 2014

Key West’s unique architecture features reflect the Southernmost City’s rich and eclectic past. Whether you’re interested in buying an island abode or checking out a vacation rental, live like the locals do in beautiful Key West, where you’ll find a variety of historic places to stay. With one-of-a-kind Conch accents, bright colors, vaulted ceilings, sundecks, wraparound porches and more, the island of Key West boasts more than 3,000 historic homes and buildings dating from 1886 to 1912.

Historic White Home in Key West

The island’s architecture is a product of many different factors, including limited building supplies, a tropical climate and diverse groups of people who shaped Key West’s cultural heritage. Cuban immigrants, ship wreckers, members of the military, New England natives and others influenced the style of Key West homes and buildings. Historically, hardy, rot-resistant Dade County pine formed the backbone of home and building construction. Pastel color treatments such as baby blue and soft pink are exemplified in some of the luxurious vacation rentals managed by Preferred Properties. Other architectural elements, including wraparound porches, window shutters and kitchen outbuildings, helped beat the Key West heat.

By the 1970s, many of Key West’s historic structures fell into disrepair as a result of hurricanes, the salty ocean air and general neglect. Fortunately, these buildings have undergone significant restoration and renovation with the help of passionate locals who work to preserve the island’s rich history. Carefully restored to their former glory, the grand historic homes and buildings in Key West can now sell for several million dollars. Preferred Properties has a variety of restored and remodeled historic homes for sale. View more details by searching our Key West MLS.

Key West Historic Building Southernmost House Hotel

Some of Key West’s most famous historic buildings include The Oldest House, The Oldest Drug Store, The Southernmost House and Casa Antigua. The Oldest House is considered the oldest home in South Florida. Constructed in the late 1820s by a ship carpenter, Captain Francis Watlington’s family lived in the home for generations. The Oldest Drug Store is one of the first commercial structures in the Key West. The store opened its doors in 1903, and Key West’s first public hospital was later opened next door. The Southernmost House was built in an intricate Victorian style. Thomas Edison oversaw the structure’s electrical design, and 5 U.S. Presidents have stayed at the mansion. Casa Antigua is one of Key West’s original hotels. The hotel is well known as the place where author Ernest Hemingway penned his celebrated novel “A Farewell to Arms.” Each of these historic structures represents an important piece of Key West’s past, with colorful stories and architecture for locals and visitors to enjoy for years to come.