The 155 year-old Civil War fort on South Roosevelt Blvd. is getting some much-needed repairs, renovations, and upgrades this summer, thanks to 2 million-dollars in grant funding for various projects from the Monroe County Tourist Development Council and the Board of County Commissioners Bricks and Mortar grants.
Renovation projects on the Key West Art & Historical Society stewarded museum include roof repairs, brick repointing, a new parking lot for the Pines Park, and ADA upgrades— the latter recently completed by Barracuda Builders of Key West.
“The Fort is receiving long over-due repairs to help preserve it for future generations and make it accessible for those with disabilities,” says KWAHS Executive Director Michael Gieda.
For more than 65 years, The Fort has operated as a museum, the first of three museums stewarded by The Society. Today it houses permanent installations that include the work of Stanley Papio, the spirited Robert the Doll, The Society’s summer ArtCamp! program, year-long educational workshops in the Garrison, the Music at Martello concert series, and ongoing community events in the Citadel’s courtyard and parade grounds.
“As The Fort is one of the first things travelers see when they arrive in Key West, it is only appropriate that this historically significant Civil War era structure is well maintained and preserved,” says Gieda.
Gieda praised Barracuda Builders on their accurate and efficient work in light of the many restrictions placed on the construction while working on the historic structure. With their swift work and the support of the support of Monroe County Public Works, The Monroe County Tourist Development Council and Monroe County Board of County Commissioners, Fort East Martello will be able to continue to invite people in as it has done for more than a half a century, despite its original purpose back in 1862 of keeping people out.
For more information on Fort East Martello, visit KWAHS.ORG, call 305.296.3913, or stop by the 3501 South Roosevelt location during museum hours, 9:30-4:30, every day except for Christmas. Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.