Audubon House & Tropical Gardens
The grand home that is now known as the Audubon House was built by Captain John Huling Geiger in the 1840's as a residence for his family, who lived there for more than a century.
The restored home is a historic museum featuring the artwork of famed naturalist John James Audubon, tropical garden, gallery & shop .
The construction of the Audubon House occurred between the years 1846 and 1849. At the time, Captain Geiger was one of Key West’s wealthiest men, and he wanted a home befitting of his family’s stature in the community. He chose a prominent location for the home on the corner of Whitehead and Greene Street so it could be seen and admired by all coming and going from the waterfront. At the time of the home’s construction, the Custom House had not yet been built across the street, and there were no other structures between the home and the ocean to obstruct the view. A cupola at the top of the house (which no longer remains) gave Captain Geiger an unobstructed view of the sea, an important feature for a wrecker’s home.
Slated for destruction in 1958, the Geiger mansion was saved by the Mitchell Wolfson Family Foundation, a non-profit educational organization. The home’s large scale restoration was the first of its kind in Key West and sparked Key West’s restoration movement.
Today, the home and its furnishings reflect the elegance and comfortable living enjoyed by a wealthy family in Key West in an era when frequent shipwrecks on the offshore reef created a flourishing ship wrecking industry.
A highlight of any visit to the Audubon House is a tour of the property’s one-acre tropical gardens with orchids, bromeliads orchids, bromeliads, rare tropical palms and crotons. Native plants and exotics provide an environment that is reminiscent of old Key West. Trees and plants are labeled with their common names, Latin names, and country of origin. The garden tour also includes a self-guided visit to the Cook House. Houses of the period in the Florida Keys did not have inside kitchens as they were sources of heat and of course, fire hazards.
A visit to the Audubon Gallery will take you through the wonderful world of original Audubon Antique hand painted lithographs. The original Antique prints of some of J.J. Audubon’s contemporaries are also available for sale.
9:30AM - 4:15PM