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 nation’s 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 floor - with wide arches and supporting columns - accommodated 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 1980’s, leading to the rededication of Old City Hall in 1991. Sweeping granite stairs and an ornate iron balustrade distinguish the building’s entrance, while high ceilings, large windows, and wainscoting grace the historic interior.