Florida Keys

Here is the name of Key West’s new city hall in 9 words

A construction crew works on the new city hall where the windows are being installed. The $18.8 million project is due for completion this summer.
A construction crew works on the new city hall where the windows are being installed. The $18.8 million project is due for completion this summer. KeysInfoNet

The likely name of the new city hall in Key West will have nine words. Count ‘em — nine. But the words “Key West” are not among them.

City leaders haven't quite settled on the formal name for the $18.8 million project that remains under construction and due for completion this summer. But two documents state the name isn't up for negotiation, ordering the building at 1300 White St. to be christened the Josephine Parker City Hall at Historic Glynn Archer School.

"I'm all in favor of that," said City Commissioner Clayton Lopez, who added he realizes some locals think it's too long.

"The point is promises were made to the families that these buildings would carry the names of their loved ones in perpetuity," Lopez said.

But Commissioner Billy Wardlow would prefer the city make some edits.

"It's too busy," he said. "It's too many words across one part of the building."

Parker's name should remain in the main title, Wardlow said, and Key West can still honor Glynn Archer with a marker affixed to the building, along with other plaques stating the building's other former names.

"The historic name is Key West High School," Wardlow said.

Commissioners will meet on Tuesday with the item on their agenda.

City Manager Jim Scholl will present a number of options for names and signs on the new city hall, including a plaque ticking off the several school names the building held from 1926, when it was Key West High, to 1976, when it had already been named after Archer as a junior high and renamed as strictly an elementary school.

Lopez compared the new city hall name to the nearby Harvey Government Center at Historic Truman School, a county building in Key West whose name honors Wilhelmina Harvey, a grand dame of Keys politics who served on the School Board and County Commission; and her husband, former Mayor C.B. Harvey, while including the former school's title.

County commissioners in 1997 voted unanimously to rename the then-new county building after the Harveys and the old school.

Parker was a veteran city clerk who died after falling ill moments before a commission meeting in 1999. Archer was a 1927 graduate of Key West High School, which originally was housed in the White Street building, who later served as School Board chairman.

A 1999 city resolution calls for any city hall to bear the name of Parker, and the 2012 contract between the city and the Monroe County School District, which handed over the former Glynn Archer Elementary School property to the city at no cost requires Archer’s name remain on the building.

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