A peek in­side his­toric homes

Key West houses open four week­ends a year

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Travel & Life - By Bon­nie Gross Flori­daRam­bler.com

The Curry Man­sion will be a part of the Key West Home Tour Dec. 28-29.

One of the great plea­sures of vis­it­ing Key West is ad­mir­ing the hun­dreds of his­toric homes that have been lov­ingly pre­served and re­stored.

But few vis­i­tors get a peek in­side those pri­vate homes.

Four week­ends a year, how­ever, the own­ers of some of Key West’s most in­ter­est­ing houses open their doors to vis­i­tors in or­der to raise money for his­toric preser­va­tion on the is­land. The first is Dec. 28 and 29, fol­lowed by Jan. 18 and 19, Feb. 15 and 16 and March 15 and 16.

For 59 years, the non-profit Old Is­land Restora­tion Foun­da­tion has hosted the Key West Home Tours. It is one of the old­est home tours in the coun­try.

For a $35 ticket ($40 at the door), vis­i­tors can tour five houses over the course of two days. There are four week­ends of home tours and each one fea­tures dif­fer­ent houses re­flect­ing the var­ied tastes and orig­i­nal­ity of their own­ers. Some show­case homes have been scrupu­lously re­stored. Oth­ers have been in­ge­niously ren­o­vated. Many have art col­lec­tions and an­tiques. This year, as a bonus, there is an ad­di­tional sixth build­ing to tour each week­end, a his­toric bed and break­fast or ho­tel.

The first home tour was or­ga­nized in 1960, and that was a very dif­fer­ent era for Key West, ac­cord­ing to Jean Shan­non, vice pres­i­dent of the foun­da­tion.

“The Old Is­land Restora­tion Foun­da­tion was or­ga­nized by hand­ful of peo­ple who really were dis­ap­pointed

Key West Home Tours


Dec. 28-29: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 18-19: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 15-16: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 15-16: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Spe­cial fea­tures: The De­cem­ber tours in­clude many homes dec­o­rated for the hol­i­days. The Jan­uary tours in­clude the op­tion of pay­ing an ad­di­tional $10 for a ticket that takes you on the Conch Tour Train as tour trans­porta­tion. To see a list of the homes on each month’s tours, visit the web­site here: key­west­home­tours .com/tours2018-2019

Tick­ets: Tour tick­ets are $35 and avail­able on­line or in per­son at the Old­est House Mu­seum or on the day of the tour at each of the five homes. Tick­ets sold on the day of the tour are $40. On­line tick­ets can be pur­chased here: oirf.org/pay/tick­et­pay

Lo­gis­tics: Homes may be seen in any or­der and view­ings may be split over two days. Since park­ing is chal­leng­ing in Key West, it is best to bi­cy­cle or to com­bine walk­ing with the free Du­val Loop Bus. Here’s in­for­ma­tion and the route of the bus: car­freekey­west .com/du­val-loop-bus


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