The restored commissary on Pigeon Key.

Earlier in March, the Historic Florida Keys Foundation presented two ceramic star awards to Monroe County Project Management for its preservation work of the Pigeon Key Honeymoon Cottage and commissary buildings. Hurricane Irma heavily damaged both buildings in 2017, knocking them off their foundations. This is Project Management’s sixth preservation award in three years.

“This was an incredibly complex and challenging project considering its size and numerous historic hurdles,” said Project Management Director Cary Knight. “Additionally, the project started during COVID, and all the construction materials had to be brought to the island via boat.”

Pigeon Key, located off Marathon and connected by the Old 7 Mile Bridge, is best known for its significant role in the construction and operation of the Florida East Coast Railway. Both wood-frame buildings were initially supposed to be temporary and are excellent examples of construction on the island during that time. The commissary building construction started in 1913, and the Honeymoon Cottage, directly adjacent to it, began in 1942.

Surviving historical materials, such as doors, windows, flooring and porch components, were salvaged and reused wherever possible. When required, new material was selected to match the existing historical details, including the original profiles and dimensions. The work also involved removing or replacing non-historic features added over the years.More information about Pigeon Key is at pigeonkey.net.