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  • Writer's pictureMel Dick

Customs House

As one explores Key West you can't help but notice the numerous beautiful buildings. The Key West Custom House and Fire House are two examples.

The Custom House was erected in 1891, replacing the original 1833 wood-framed structure. Built in the Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style, it's brick walls and striking arches reflect Key West's 19th century wealth from its lucrative trade routes and maritime industries. Thousands of cases were heard at the Custom House, ranging from charges against rum-runners to ship salvaging claims. The most significant proceedings dealt with the 1898 sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor which lead to the Spanish-American War. The Custom House recently underwent a $9 million restoration which transformed it into a first class museum known the Key West Art & Historical Museum, and contains excellent fine-art and history exhibits. A few of the sculptures that surround the museum are pictured above.

Lastly, a picture of a paddle board and kayak lesson being given on a canal that runs through part of the island.

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