Key West Lighthouse Museum

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938 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL, USA - (305) 294-0012

Key West Lighthouse Museum Reviews

nicolesmiley nicolesm…
11 reviews
Best vacation Photos you'll have. Feb 15, 2009
If you like lighthouses and a great view of the city then this tour is for you. One of the cutest lighthouses I've seen, I had a great time goofing off around here. Again, Go as early as you can or you might hit a hoard of people trying to get in at the last minute plus it makes taking photos that will not be obstructed with people you don't know a little more difficult. They offer guided tours and they are informative but you probably will have more fun just poking around for yourself. Of course you will go up top but be careful of people coming down so as not to fall down the stairs and make sure you have a really good hold on your camera so you don't drop it.
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grandmar grandmar
247 reviews
88 Steps to a View Jan 30, 2005
When we were living in Key West in the late 60s, I painted the lighthouse - it was one of the first of my oil paintings. I was pregnant with my third child. One day when I was sitting their painting, I fainted. My teacher caught me.

The Key West lighthouse tower was originally 46 feet high and powered by 15 oil lamps with 15-inch reflectors, but was extended to 86 feet in 1894. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1969, right after I painted my picture. It is now a museum and it is now be painted white - unlike when I did my picture when it was yellow.

In 2005, when we were staying in Key West, I climbed the lighthouse for the first time. I had been resisting it, but I saw a photo in the Martello tower museum that showed Fort Taylor from the top of the lighthouse, and I wanted to see that too. So I climbed, and climbed. When I got to the top, a doctor who had climbed about the same time asked me if I was having a heart attack. But I wasn't.

After I rested, I took some pictures of the surrounding area, but I couldn't see Fort Taylor - I did see cruise ships, antennas and Hemmingway's house.

Key West Lighthouse was built inland (at 930 Whitehead St.) in 1847 because when it was at Whitehead point it kept being toppled by hurricanes. It was NOT built to foil the wreckers.

I do not remember being able to climb the lighthouse in 1968, and I am almost positive that there was no museum there at that time. The restoration of the lighthouse (and painting it white) came about 20 years later.

We did find a post card with a photo of the lighthouse as it was before it was restored -- it looked just like it did in my painting. I was glad to find out I hadn't been hallucinating. See the Intro for the comparison.

Admission $6 adults, $2 children 7-12, free for children 6 and under. Daily 9:30am5pm (last admission at 4:30pm). The admission also includes the lighthouse keeper museum which is quite interesting.
Lighthouse 1967 and 2005
Lighthouse with old postcard
My painting
Looking up at the lighthouse

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