Preserving Paradise:: The Architectural Heritage and History of the Florida Keys (American Chronicles) (Paperback)
In the nearly 500 years since the Florida Keys were discovered by Christopher Columbus in his search for the Fountain of Youth, Key West has been the home of a dazzling array of inhabitants. The picturesque island has been populated with native Indians, European settlers, pirates and other various scallywags, pineapple farmers and an endless stream of sailors from far-flung ports of call. Each faction brought with it to the island a unique past and culture, and no where can this variety of influences be more readily observed than in Key West's historic architecture. The intriguing history of Key West can be deciphered through the architecture of its buildings--each fa ade and portico offers another subtle detail in the island-city's larger story. Preserving Paradise, by author and executive director of the Historic Florida Keys Foundation George Born, reveals the nuances of Key West's architecture and uses it to illuminate many aspects of Conch Republic history. With a warm, readable style, Born explores a range of topics, including Key West's prevalent architectural styles, the preservation of historic structures, the history of building materials, and the effect of hurricanes on the city's architectural heritage. Committed to preserving Key West's architecture and the past it represents, Born explains in detail just why Key West is so architecturally unique, and why the city's buildings, streets and neighborhoods are a repository of history that can be discovered by experts and weekend visitors alike.