The Curry Mansion Inn is changing hands, from one prominent Key West family to another.

The Spottswoods are buying the stately mansion, with its white peaks, wood scrolls, widow’s walk and wraparound porch, from the Amsterdam family, who have owned it since 1973.

“The answer is yes; we are selling to the Spottswoods,” Phil Amsterdam told the Keys Weekly on Wednesday, Nov. 10. “It’s not yet final, but we expect to close by the end of the year.”

Amsterdam’s parents, Edith and Al Amsterdam, bought the property in 1973. Phil and his sister, Patsy, have owned it since Edith’s death in 2016 at the age of 91. (Al Amsterdam died in 2001.)

“It’s very bittersweet,” Phil Amsterdam said. “But we’re very glad it will remain in the hands of a Key West family.”

So are the Spottswoods.

Robert Spottswood, who grew up and still lives in the same block of Caroline Street, was friends with the family who lived there before the Amsterdams bought it. He remembers playing in and running through the mansion. 

“The Curry Mansion was and is an amazing place. I watched it go from a single-family residence to the inn of today, and of course, Edith and my mom were the best of friends. She was a great, great steward of that property. When I came back home to Key West years ago, I had started a conversation with Phil Amsterdam’s late brother, Bruce, and said if they ever wanted to sell, to please keep us in mind.

“A few months ago, Phil and Patsy called. They said their mom, Edith, had wanted to give us a shot at buying the place,” Robert Spottswood said, adding that the aging property does need some TLC.

“We’ll continue operating the inn as usual for the next six months or so, then in the summertime, we’ll get to work polishing her up to make all of the former owners proud of what she is and what she’ll continue to be — an important part of Key West’s history and heritage.”

As the story goes, Edith and Al Amsterdam had docked their yacht in Key West in 1973 and were walking down Caroline Street when Edith saw what she described as a white wedding-cake mansion, lit from the inside by crystal chandeliers. 

A For Sale hung in the front yard of the property that had once belonged to William Curry, Florida’s first self-made millionaire. Curry built a home at 511 Caroline St. in 1869, but his son, Milton, in 1901, tore it down and built the Georgian Revival-style structure that stands today as one of Key West’s most notable properties.

The Curry family sold the house in 1920 and two other families owned it until 1973.

“Fully intending it as their private home, the Amsterdams began the arduous task of rehabilitation and restoration, but reality and skyrocketing real estate taxes forced them to look at other options,” states the inn’s website. “The home was turned into a bed and breakfast in 1988 and has been operating continuously since.”

The Curry Mansion Inn includes 28 guest rooms in three different buildings — the mansion, its guest wing and the historic James House, across the road at 512 Caroline St.  The mansion at 511 Caroline St., was most recently valued at $6.34 million by the Monroe County Property Appraiser. The James House is valued at $2.33 million. The pending sale price has not been disclosed.

 

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Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.