5. Marquesa

Historic Marker number five is located at the corner of Fleming and Southard Streets.

James Haskins built this house in 1884. It missed the sweep of Key West's catastrophic fire of 1886 by just 20 feet.

The house was originally a single-family dwelling. Over time it went through several changes. The street level portion of the structure with its prominent bay window was altered in 1889 to accommodate a "Gents Goods" store. A series of businesses followed including the local gas company, Fausto's Food Palace and a furniture store.

The main house became a prim and proper boarding house in the early 1900's and was converted to family apartments in the 1950's. By the mid- 1970's the once lovely interior had been broken into a ramshackle warren of partitioned cubbyholes known as "Q-Rooms" or quiet accommodations. Rented on a weekly basis the twenty-one sleeping spaces shared three bathrooms.

Curiously, around that time, an order of Catholic nuns in New York to which one of James Haskins' daughters belonged, inherited the property from the Haskins family. Upon her death the church sold the building.

In 1987, the Haskins house was extensively renovated and restored and became the Marquesa Hotel and Caf´┐Ż Marquesa. The renovation received numerous preservation awards on the national, state and local levels.

The structure was expanded in 1994 when two neighboring historic structures were combined with the original house.