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Home arrowNews arrow Laura Bush Announces Preserve America Grants Budget arrow Preserve America Community: Key West, Florida
Preserve America Community:
Key West, Florida

Located near the end of the Florida Keys, Key West has a population of more than 27,000 inhabitants and is the southern-most city in the continental United States.

Ernest Hemingway's typewriter sits atop a table next to his chair.
Key West, Florida, was home to Nobel Prize-winning American author Ernest Hemingway. His typewriter and chair are on display at his home, which is open to the public
. (Photo courtesy of the Ernest Hemingway House and Museum)

Key West has a long-standing commitment to historic preservation, as evidenced by creation of its Old Island Restoration Commission in 1965 to protect historic resources located in the old section of the city. The boundaries of this area have been expanded and are now recognized as a National Register Historic District. Key West has been designated a Certified Local Government by the National Park Service since 1991.

Over the years, Key West has partnered with private enterprises and non-profit organizations to preserve its historical heritage and educate both residents and visitors about the city's colorful past. Tourism is the city's primary economic generator, with a particular emphasis on heritage tourism tied to Key West's history as a maritime and trade center.

Recently, the city partnered with local business owners and non-profit organizations to rehabilitate buildings in the Bight, the city's historic seaport area, including the adaptive re-use of an historic sea turtle cannery that now houses a sea turtle rescue center.

Key West is also home to the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, which brings maritime history to life through exhibits, public education, and numerous children's programs. It is housed in a large historic military structure that has recently been restored with city assistance.

Key West historic resources are also featured in a walking/driving tour developed by the Historic Florida Keys Foundation, helping to interpret local sites for many visitors each year.

For more information

Preserve America:
Summary of the Preserve America initiative

Key West, Florida:

An independent Federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) promotes historic preservation nationally by providing a forum for influencing Federal activities, programs, and policies that impact historic properties, advising the President and Congress, advocating preservation policy, improving Federal preservation programs, protecting historic properties, and educating stakeholders and the public. For more information, visit the ACHP's Web site at, or contact Bruce Milhans at 202-606-8513 or

Learn more about ACHP

Posted January 20, 2004

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