Dade County pine is a highly prized old growth lumber that was the primary source of wood used to build most of the buildings in Key West's Historic District during the 1800s. It is best known for its ability to withstand rotting conditions and stand up to termite damage. It was used to construct floors, walls, ceilings, framing, and support beams. Due to the endurance of this wood, Key West has maintained the largest frame vernacular historic district in the United States.
This is the former location of the U.S. Army Barracks. The men stationed on this 24 acre property played a vital role in shaping Key West's history. Their service spans the three Seminole Wars, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War I, and World War II. The soldiers' presence influenced Key West economically and supported the island for more than 100 years. The Barracks were turned over to the U.S. Navy in 1947 and renamed for famed explorer Robert Peary.
Dade Lodge #14 was built by esteemed Miami architect, Henry Hohauser for a local order of Masons. The architectural style of the building is Streamline Moderne. The new look embraced simple lines and aerodynamic curves in reaction to Victorian building ornamentation that was the predominant building style for decades. The use of concrete construction and large expanses of glass stood in stark contrast to the wooden structures in what is now the Historic District
These brick structures were built as a gas plant and were the first large scale source of power in Key West. The plant would burn coal, collect the vapors, and convert them into a gas for lighting. The gas, however, was smoky and proved to be an inefficient lighting source. In 1890, John Jay Philbrick transformed the facility to a steam powered electric plant. He renamed the power plant the Key West Gas and Electric Company and ceased producing coal gas within a few years.