Key West is famous for its collection of old wooden houses, mostly dating to the 19th Century. The district known as Old Town is on the National Register of Historic Places.
But occasionally a new building goes up in the old neighborhoods. Some recent new buildings and proposed new buildings have generated a debate about whether new construction in the historic district should blend in with the older buildings or be clearly separate.
Building permits in the historic district, including paint colors, are reviewed by the city’s Historic Architecture Review Commission. That’s where neighbors made their feelings known about the proposal for 616 Eaton St.
“It looks like a cross between a shopping center and an aircraft carrier,” Eric Detwiler, who lives in the same block, told the commission. “It’s ugly.”