KEY WEST, Fla. - Artists have restored one of the most photographed tourism icons in the Florida Keys after it was damaged by Hurricane Irma.
The last brush strokes were placed on the "Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S.A." marker Monday.
"For Key West to really recover, we had to have this monument back painted again so people could come here again and take their picture and feel like something special when they visited Key West," said Key West Mayor Craig Cates.
The red, yellow, black and white marker, a massive 4-ton cement monument that resembles a giant marine navigational buoy, is located beside the Atlantic Ocean. It proclaims that Key West is 90 miles from Havana.
Irma pummeled the marker Sept. 10, knocking out a large piece of stucco and stripping much of its paint.
Public works staffers re-stuccoed and primed the four-ton structure. Then, the city of Key West hired artist Danny Acosta, who was aided by Henry Delvalle, to repaint the graphics.
Despite damage to the marker, Key West was not seriously impacted by Hurricane Irma's passage through the Keys. The region reopened to visitors Oct. 1, although some harder-hit areas of the 125-mile island chain continue to recover.