Visit this historic work of architecture to explore an award-winning museum, learn about the early Key West community and gaze across the Key West Harbor.
Learn about local culture and history and see local artworks at the Custom House Museum, a four-story building overlooking Key West Harbor. The museum is affectionately known as “Old 91” and was originally built as Key West’s custom house, post office and district court.
Begin your day at the museum by studying its fascinating architecture. Built in 1891, the Custom House is an example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. Take a self-guided tour to learn about the significance of the architecture and the way it indicated a rising upper class in the region.
While the architecture is fascinating in its own right, the main attraction of the Custom House today is the museum housed within. See more than 25,000 items that trace out the history of Key West and its residents. Learn the stories of the people that helped shape the town as you read through letters, postcards and archives. Alongside these texts you’ll find paintings and textiles from the early years of the town. The permanent collections focus on a range of topics including Ernest Hemingway's time in Key West and spans two floors of the building and has earned the Key West Art & Historical Society numerous awards.
The Custom House Museum is located within Key West’s Old Town precinct and can easily be reached on foot from Mallory Square, Audubon House and Tropical Gardens and other attractions. There is ticketed parking available at Mallory Square but those coming from farther afield can catch the scenic Conch Train and Old Town Trolley for an enjoyable ride through Key West. The museum is closed on Christmas Day and an admission fee applies.