“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Key West in Monroe County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Key West Armory

Key West Armory Marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, May 28, 2015
1. Key West Armory Marker
Inscription.  This 1903 armory was described as "an unusual wood-frame building," and was one of the few armories built in the South due to lack of funds following the Civil War (1861-1865). The Italianate-style, Key West Armory incorporates an arched entrance, twin, six-sided pointed turrets, a tall parapet as well as towers and cupolas. Key West was an important Union Base during the Civil War. Volunteer troops that helped defend Key West from the Confederates were known as the Key West Rifles and then, in 1888 as the Island City Guards. The Armory was built for their descendants, the Monroe County Militia/438th Company Florida National Guard. It housed these troops and their armament. The Armory served as a training facility in World Wars I and II and later became a community center. Monroe County contracted John T. and A. Bruce Sawyer to build the Armory in 1902, as designed by T.F. Russell. The State of Florida later refunded the money, which was used to build County Road, now known as Flagler Avenue. Restoration efforts began in the 1970s prior to the building's lease to Monroe County. Management of the state-owned armory was turned over to the Historic
Key West Armory image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, May 28, 2015
2. Key West Armory
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Florida Keys Preservation Board in 1994.
Erected 2009 by Historic Florida Keys Foundation and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-658.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War, US CivilWar, World IWar, World II. A significant historical year for this entry is 1903.
Location. 24° 33.582′ N, 81° 47.635′ W. Marker is in Key West, Florida, in Monroe County. Marker is at the intersection of White Street and Southard Street, on the left when traveling west on White Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 600 White Street, Key West FL 33040, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Key West Cemetery (approx. ¼ mile away); Welcome to Key West's Historic Seaport! (approx. 0.4 miles away); Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea (approx. half a mile away); Convent Of Mary Immaculate (approx. half a mile away); War of 1898 (approx. half a mile away); Porter's Anti-Pirate Fleet (approx. half a mile away); The Trev-Mor Hotel (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Samuel O. Johnson House (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Key West.
Inside front entrance image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, May 28, 2015
3. Inside front entrance
An additioanl Key West Armory marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, May 28, 2015
4. An additioanl Key West Armory marker
The Armory was in such an advanced state of deterioration by 1969 that the State granted the City permission for it's demolition. Joseph Allen and State Representative William Roberts fought to save the building and were instrumental in forming the Historic Preservation Board. Preservationist James Shields, Edward & Joan Knight, Larry Nettles, Mary Lee Graham and Norman Artman are also credited with preserving the structure.
Circa 1900
Credits. This page was last revised on January 26, 2018. It was originally submitted on July 10, 2015, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida. This page has been viewed 326 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 10, 2015, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide view photo of the marker and the surrounding area in context. • Can you help?

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Oct. 20, 2021