The Cornfeld Residence is one of the grander homes in Old Town, Key West. Originally constructed on Duval Street ca. 1888, the structure was moved on rollers to its current location in 1912. The building sits prominently at the corner of Elizabeth and Fleming Streets, and has broad two-story porches on both street fronts, decorated with ornate gingerbread brackets and railings. Numerous additions over time had altered the property’s character, many of them causing severe structural damage. Inappropriate ornamentation had been added to both the exterior and interior, the style of which had no relationship to the original home.
The project included a full renovation of the interior and exterior, including stabilization of the structure and restoration of historic elements at both the interior and exterior. New pools and native landscaping were installed to complement the architecture. During selective demolition of the rear additions, severe structural damage from previous projects was uncovered. Structural reinforcements were designed and installed to preserve the historic character of the home. Obviously, these unforeseen issues were expensive, but the Owners were resolved to “do the project correctly.” Green improvements were also incorporated into the project, including high-SEER energy efficient mechanical systems, added insulation at the roof, high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, and use of indigenous plants throughout the landscaping.
2013 Historic Florida Keys Foundation: Excellence in Rehabilitation and Restoration