© 2023 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Key West's Southernmost Point already on the mend after New Year's vandalism

the southernmost point buoy in key west with a sign in front of it that says wet paint.
Gwen Filosa
Miami Herald
Repairs on the Southernmost Point in Key West started on New Year's Day and should be complete by the end of the week, according to the city.

The Southernmost Point marker in Key West has stood up to harsh sunlight and hurricanes. And now, it's been through fire.

In the early morning hours of New Year's Day, two people lit a Christmas tree on fire next to the buoy-shaped concrete marker at the corner of Whitehead and South streets.

You turn to WLRN for reporting you can trust and stories that move our South Florida community forward. Your support makes it possible. Please donate now. Thank you.

The marker is painted in red, yellow and black stripes and says "90 miles to Cuba." It's so popular with tourists that there's almost always a line of people waiting to take selfies and group photos with it.

The fire blackened parts of the landmark, led to headlines around the country — and caused outrage on social media.

The city started repainting the buoy the next day. A city spokeswoman said Monday that repairs should be done by the end of the week.

Images of the suspects lighting the fire were captured on a webcam. Key West police say they have been identified, but they're not releasing the names while they're still investigating.

A screenshot from a webcam shows the fire being lit at the southernmost point buoy
Two Oceans Digital
A webcam captured the suspects lighting the tree on fire.

Want to keep up with the latest stories out of the Florida Keys like this one? Sign up for The Tieline, our newsletter focused on all things Keys and Monroe County. The newsletter will arrive in your inbox every two weeks and is written and curated by WLRN’s southernmost reporter Nancy Klingener. She shares her reporting, the latest news out of the Keys and much more. Head here to sign up.

Nancy Klingener was WLRN's Florida Keys reporter until July 2022.
More On This Topic