The Key West Art & Historical Society Reopens the Key West Lighthouse & Keeper’s Quarters Museum Following Extensive Restoration
August 22, 2023 – (KEY WEST, FL). The Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum has fully reopened following four months of intermittent closures due to restoration work spearheaded by Monroe County Project Management. The popular local historic landmark and tourist attraction, operated by the Key West Art & Historical Society and owned by Monroe County, welcomes visitors every day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Located at 938 Whitehead Street, the property allows guests to experience stories about Florida Keys lighthouses and the families that operated the tower while residing on the grounds.
During the closure, the lighthouse tower, which originally opened in 1848, underwent a series of repairs including much needed metalwork, painting, and sealing of the original wrought iron staircase and viewing platform. Safety gates were also installed at the top of the structure to prevent accidental damage to the Third Order Fresnel Lens that was mounted in 1858. Adjacent to the tower, the modest oil storage shed also benefited from repairs and upgrades and will now form part of the museum’s display space. Plans also call for three replica 100-gallon oil butts to be positioned in the oil house, providing visitors with an enhanced understanding of how difficult the lighthouse keeper’s job was to keep the light fueled at night and during powerful storms.
“The Key West Art and Historical Society is grateful to the county, TDC and contractors for completing the much-needed restoration of the tower,” says Michael Gieda, Executive Director of the Society. “We’re also excited to expand the museum display area to include the original oil house, allowing us to foster a better understanding of how the tower and property operated over time.”
The Society would like to thank the various entities involved in this significant preservation effort including the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners, Monroe County Project Management, the Monroe County Tourist Development Council for providing the funding, Marino Construction, Specialized Property Services, Messery Painting, Check Electric, Kubi Custom Metals, Alex Klahm and Bender & Associates Architects.
Information about the Museum’s opening hours, special events, and the exclusive Lighthouse Sunset Experience is found online at www.kwahs.org/lighthouse.
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