The U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Key West Station also called the U.S. Navy Coal Depot and Storehouse, building # 1. This historic location is located at the northwest corner of Whitehead Street and Front Street in Key West. This building is deemed to have achieved major significance between 1850 and 1874 as a military base and it is architecturally unique. Capt. J. M. Scarpitt was the architect and builder of this historic tourist location. At present, the entire area of the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Key West Station is a Federal property. The historic functions of the building were defense, commerce, trade, warehouse, and naval facility. However, the present functions of this place are government defense activities and coast guard facility. It is also home to the naval government office.
The U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Key West Station is a unit with several missions and responsibilities. The station also possesses several assets assigned to it for proper performance of its responsibilities. The stations covers nearly 2,500 square miles and it is responsible for the entire lower Florida Keys area as well as its surrounding waters. The current definition of Station Key West is MLE Level 1, PWCS and Pursuit Station. The station employs both men and women, all of them highly trained as professional mariners. They have the capacity to respond all types of missions with untiring vigor. The station handles the major responsibility of handling all search and rescue (SAR) missions. These missions include rescue of disoriented boats, individuals at risk of life at sea, etc.
The Maritime Law Enforcement duties of the mission are environmental protection, recreational boating safety, counter narcotics enforcement, fisheries regulation, and enforcement of immigration laws, etc. The U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Key West Station also provides security to the ports, waterways, and other coastal areas under its control. The station further enforces water-side security zones in the lower Florida Keys, especially near high value assets. The station has assigned 5 boats at present to carry out its missions, with boat models such as 45’ RB-M, 24’ SPC-SW, and 33’ SPC-LE. However, the station feels that its greatest asset is its crew, whose enthusiasm, professionalism, and devotion to duty make all its missions successful.