Built in the late 1800s by Emilio Aymerich, the ground floor of the house was used as a schoolhouse for Cuban boys. A historical account "Jose Marti and the emigree colony in Key West" by C. Neale Ronning, places the founding of the "Cuban Convention," a secret revolutionary Cuban Club in the house in December of 1889. The book also notes Jose Marti's visit to the school at this same address, where he lectured to the students. The house was subsequently established as the original Cuban Club and is listed as the Cuban Club Hotel on the Key West map of 1899.
In the early 1900s the property was purchased by a famous Cuban physician, Nilo Conrado Pintado, and on December 23rd, 1917, opened its doors as the St. Joseph Hospital, at that time the only hospital in Key West other than the military hospital. The hospital remained affiliated with the Cuban Club where membership was twenty-five cents per week and included doctor’s fees, medicine, and a dentist, with an additional twenty-five cents a week for women to cover childbirth.
From 1926 the house enjoyed life as the elegant Ocean View Hotel in Key West. Our sign boasting hot and cold water is a tribute to the original Ocean View Hotel sign. This charming Key West Hotel closed in the late 1940s and reopened in 1952 as the Casa Blanca Boarding House. During Key West's depression era it gradually declined until closure in the late 1980s.
It has since been lovingly renovated and restored by the present owner to become the Key West Florida Bed and Breakfast style Boutique Hotel you see today while maintaining the old world charm and elegance that is fitting its history, including the addition of a small pool for those warm summer days. Photographs of the house in its earlier life decorate the lobby.
We are continually learning about the home's history, so if you have a story to tell or a family connection we would love for you to share it with us.