The City of Key West is moving forward with work on the Diesel Plant in Bahama Village. The beloved mural on the building will be temporarily relocated while the two non-historic portions of the building are demolished. The mural will be stored safely until the building is restored.
The demolition is the first step to ensuring that the historic structure is shored up for preservation. This step leads the way to issuing a proposal request for the eventual rehabilitation of the site.
The plant was originally built in the late 1800s to generate gas for lighting homes, businesses, and streets. It was decommissioned in the 1960s. In 2016, the community voted to accept the transfer of ownership of the building from Keys Energy to the City of Key West.
The site consists of several buildings, two of which have no historical value. Removing them makes the historic part of the building accessible for shoring up, if necessary. The City’s Chief Building Official, Raj Ramsingh, oversees the work.
The plant is adjacent to the land where the affordable housing project, The Lofts, is about to be constructed. Both parcels are next to the Truman Waterfront Park.
City officials are looking for interest from the public to redevelop the plant to ensure the preservation of the historic building while enhancing the neighborhood.