Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2020

The Key West Lighthouse Depot


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This primary structure of the Key West Lighthouse Service Depot in Key West, Florida, as shown in this 1925 photograph, was an attractive and well-constructed building that sported a lighthouse in its pediment above the archway. The sign above the lighthouse read “Department of Commerce – Lighthouse Service.” When the U.S. Lighthouse Service was taken over by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939, that sign was removed and replaced.

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As you can see by the color photo, taken by Eric Martin in 2011, and barely visible on the upper sign, are the extremely faded words “U.S. Coast Guard,” and under that, the words “Captain of the Port.” It appears that, at some point, the original lighthouse in the pediment was replaced by the one that is there today.

The building now houses a mini-mall, which is near the docks, one block from Duval Street, which is the main street for shops and entertainment in Key West, Florida.

This story appeared in the May/Jun 2020 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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