FL-F601 Old City Hall

Marker text: OLD CITY HALL

The City of Key West acquired this lot in 1871 and built a wood-frame city hall, dedicating it on July 4, 1876, during the nationÕs Centennial. That building stood until it burned down in the devastating fire of 1886. The City then constructed this brick edifice between 1890 and 1892. Scott, McDermott & Higgs designed the structure, while Russell & Harvey built it. The ground floorÑwith wide arches and supporting columnsÑaccommodated market stalls, then fire engines. The upper floor, dominated by the City Commission chambers, also housed City offices. Over the years, the building was altered, including the removal of the bell tower. Monroe County acquired the property in 1965 to house its juvenile court. In 1974, the State of Florida acquired the building, and the Historic Florida Keys Preservation Board spearheaded its restoration. The bell tower was restored in 1976 during the Bicentennial. Restoration efforts continued through the 1980Õs, leading to the rededication of Old City Hall in 1991. Sweeping granite stairs and an ornate iron balustrade distinguish the buildingÕs entrance, while high ceilings, large windows, and wainscoting grace the historic interior.

A Florida Heritage Site
Sponsored by the Historic Florida Keys Foundation and the Florida Department of State, 2007

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