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1891 Post Office, Custom House & U.S.Courts

Key West, Florida

Post_Office_Key_West.jpg (98675 bytes)

Role of Keystone Restoration, Inc.

Our firm served as general contractor for Phase III restoration of the building's massive brick masonry, granite, brownstone, bluestone and terracotta exteriors. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places and locally designated a landmark, the Custom House has been named Florida’s best example of Romanesque Revival Architecture and is considered one of the five most significant historical buildings in the State. Keystone Restoration, Inc. lavished painstaking attention to the building's fine details in its adherence to the Secretary of    the Interior's Standards for Historic Rehabilitation and quest to match original fabric.

The building was built  by the U.S. Treasury Department as home to Federal Courts, U.S. Customs, Lighthouse Service and the Post Office. During World War I, Thomas Edison worked there during a stay in Key West, at that time Florida's most populous and important seaport. The massive three story building is constructed of brick, granite, brownstone  and bluestone with elaborate terracotta details. Sited adjacent to an 1820's naval base, the Custom House was the site of many important historical events, most notably the inquiry into the sinking of the USS  Maine in Havana's harbor. In 1932, the building became headquarters for the U.S. Navy's Caribbean and Gulf   of Mexico operations. Declared surplus and abandoned for nearly twenty years, the building was purchased by   the State of Florida in 1993 for use as a museum of art and history.

Keystone Restoration, Inc.'s work focused on exterior masonry and structural repairs. This included exact brick replication, re-pointing and custom mortar matching, rebuilding of a large 34-feet high chimney, ornamental terracotta restoration and rebuilding numerous monumental brick archways. Our work was carried out with precision hand tools custom made on the site and the skill of the finest masons in the eastern United States. In addition to the finest craftsmen, we employed the best engineering and restoration consultants to provide us with the most effective and least intrusive solutions to resolve the building's structural problems. The level of detail we accomplished resulted in a perfect, imperceptible match between our work and the 106-year-old original.

Keystone Restoration's work was extensively published in the Citizen News (February 2, 1997) in Key West, e.g., "Brick masons have been brought in from all over the country; we have a very knowledgeable and conscientious crew."

"Our association has always been highly professional and dedicated to achieving the highest quality, most accurate historic restoration possible. Keystone Restoration, Inc. under Mr. Pinedo’s leadership has consistently demonstrated its ability to solve complex issues and excellence in workmanship." "Mr. Pinedo is a pleasure to work with. His demeanor is friendly, cooperative and professional. He is dedicated to providing clients well-managed projects, staffed with highly skilled craftsmen, attend to 'the details' and do so within the limits of the budget."
Michael J. Maxwell, Florida Trust for Historic Restoration Trustee (1988-1995)
"

"...(The) company demonstrated excellent organization and workmanship. The work performed was completed ahead of contract time and within budget."
Ed Perez, District Construction Engineer, Florida Department of Transportation
Owner: State of Florida
Contact: Florida Department of Transportation, Ed Perez, District Construction Engineer (305) 499-2351

Historic Preservation: Michael J. Maxwell (305) 759-9410
Florida Trust for Historic Preservation Trustee
(1988-1995)

Architect: Bender & Associates, AIA

Completion Date: 1997

Work Performed: 100% by Keystone Restoration, Inc. forces

Designations:
National Register of Historic Places; City of Key West Landmark

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