our history

The parlor in the Oldest House in Key West

In the 1950s Key West’s citizens watched as several of their most valued architectural treasures were lost to neglect or new development. These events galvanized preservationists to organize the nonprofit Old Island Restoration Foundation in 1960 to promote the preservation and restoration of historically significant buildings.

Over the years, Old Island Restoration Foundation has raised and granted hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain the Oldest House Museum and to award grants to restore historical buildings in Key West, including Old City Hall, the Custom House, the Martello Forts, the Key West Lighthouse, the Women’s Club, several churches, and more. The Foundation also provides funds to Take Stock in Children, a scholarship and mentoring program to assist Key West High School students. The Foundation is administered by a Board of Directors and further information can be found under About.

All activities are funded by member contributions, Key West Home Tours™, rental of the Oldest House’s beautiful garden for weddings and other events such as the annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest.

For more history on Key West and the Oldest House please see our Oldest House Museum website.

The Old Island Restoration Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with an office in the Oldest House and Garden Museum at 322 Duval Street in Key West, Florida.

Key West Home Tours™

Latest News

2017-18 Grant Awards

Old Island Restoration Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was organized in 1960 to promote the preservation and restoration of historically significant buildings in Key West. The Foundation also administers and maintains …

wedding pavilion

Garden Rental

Key West’s Oldest House Museum and Garden offers the perfect setting for your memorable event, whether it is a grand, lavish affair or a perfect private ceremony. This secluded paradise …

2018 Conch Shell Blowing Contest

OIRF’s 56th annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest was held in the garden of the Oldest House on March 3, 2018, to a standing-room only crowd, and was emceed by Lea …