The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in th Continental United States

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Bight Board and Chairman Knowles Recognized

City Manager Jim Scholl, during Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, congratulated the Key West Bight Board and it Chairman Michael Knowles on an important recent state preservation award.

The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation recognized the Key West Historic Seaport for Meritorious Performance in the field of Organizational Achievement. The Key West Bight Management District Board was established more than 20 years ago to oversee the preservation of the city’s historic seaport.

Commissioner Jimmy Weekley, who was a driving force on establishing the preservation project, calls the waterfront preservation “a real success story.

“I will never forget how I stumbled on to a planning board meeting,” he said, “where a developer was laying out his plan to build condominiums all along the waterfront. I knew that waterfront was too valuable to our citizens and to our history to lose it.”

At the time, the residents voted by referendum to purchase the property. At the same time, the Bight Board was formed to oversee the successful economic development of the seaport and the continued preservation.

The board, said Scholl, has ensured that the historic waterfront has retained the island’s “flavor and funkiness” while preserving the industries that have defined Key West.

“The Key West Historic Seaport sits in the Historic District of Key West, a region listed in the National Register of Historic Places,” notes the Florida Trust for Preservation on its web site. “Dating back over 200 years, the Key West Historic Seaport remains a thriving engine of commerce, supporting many industries vital to the economy and overall way of life in Florida and Key West. From fishing to tourism, the nearly 100 businesses and organizations situated along the beautiful harborwalk waterfront rely on the Historic Seaport to support their families and livelihood.”

The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation was founded in 1978 and is Florida’s nonprofit dedicated to protecting the state’s architectural, historical and archaeological heritage. The Florida Preservation Awards recognizes individuals, organizations, businesses and agencies that have made a significant impact in preserving Florida’s history.

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In the photo: City Commissioners Richard Payne, Margaret Romero and Jimmy Weekley, City Manager Jim Scholl, Bight Board Chairman Michael Knowles, Vice Mayor Clayton Lopez, Commissioners Sam Kaufman and Billy Wardlow.