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Duck Key in the Florida Keys

An Information Guide to Duck Key in the Florida Keys


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Duck Key's
Arched Venetian Bridges

Bryan Newkirk Jr., the son of Lucille and Bryan Newkirk, developers of Duck Key and Robert Gene Otto are credited with designing Duck Key's arched Venetian bridges that grace the canals after travelling through Europe at the father's direction to look for ideas.

The bridges with their columned ballustrades and matching stonemason-carved railings were originally topped with concrete ornamental urns, pineapples, and baskets of fruits. The beautiful ornamentals seem to get damaged and " lost " from time to time. The Duck Key Property Owners Association replaced 23 of 64 bridge ornamentals in 1972. In recent years homeowners have put pineapple ornaments on several of the bridges. Three of the four gracefully arched bridges which cross canals of Duck Key have a variety of pineapple ornamentation on bridge ballustrades.

Pineapple Ornamentation

Pineapple ornamentation is a traditionally greeting symbol of welcome. You will find pineapple ornamentation over the entrance to home doorways and at the entrance gate to Hawk's Cay.

 


Entrance Gate to Hawk's Cay Resort with Harbor Village Villas in background.

Bryan's Garden

Before the building of the Villas of Hawk's Cay Village strollers could find adjacent to the resort's employee housing vestiges of a garden built as a memorial to Bryan Newkirk Jr., son of Lucile and Bryan W. Newkirk, developers of Duck Key and the Indies Inn in the 1950s. Bryan contracted polio and died in 1955. Work on Duck Key came to a halt while the Newkirk family grieved and gave serious thought about selling Duck Key. Upon reflecting on all the work their son had done and the vision Bryan had for the island's future, the Newkirk's decided to continue building.

Lucile Newkirk and Robert Gene Otto, a well known Key West artist who was interested in architecture and tropical plants, designed the garden and placed a small altar there with a plaque that read:

 The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of the birds for mirth
One is nearer to God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

An altar remains in the garden, but the plaque is no more.  

 

 

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW for information on the Duck Key community, its architecture,Venetian style bridges, trees, and efforts at beautification.

 
DUCK KEY COMMUNITY

 

ARCHITECTURE

VENETIAN BRIDGES

BEAUTIFICATION

ISLAND TREES
Geiger and Canary Island date Palm

POINCIANA TREES

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