The Cypress House Hotel was the estate home of Richard Kemp and his family who moved to Key West from the Bahamas in the early 19th century. Richard Kemp was an avid naturalist and fisherman and the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle was named after him, having submitted the species for identification in 1880. William Kemp, brother of Richard, introduced the sponge industry from Key West to the New York market and they became prosperous from this business.
On the main building of the property you will note the third floor eyebrow-style windows tucked under the roof overhang of this Bahamian-influenced home, built after the 1886 fire that destroyed much of Old Town at the time. You can also see hints of the Classic Revival style in the columns as well. The pine and cypress woods used in the 1800s for construction did not require a protective coat of paint and the main building continues that tradition today.
601 Caroline Street
Key West, Florida 33040