Ribbon Cutting at Pocket Park back  
Date of Record: February 26, 2009

Key West is honoring its historic roots next week with a ribbon cutting for a new artistic installation that recognizes the importance of cigar makers to the island heritage. Key West City Commissioners will be on hand Wednesday, March 4th to dedicate the Gato Cigar Maker's Cottage Art Piece at the newly landscaped Gato Village Pocket Park, next door the First State Bank on Simonton St. The event starts at 5 p.m. with a ribbon cutting, followed by a reception at the Historic Gato Building.

The renewed miniature park, sponsored by Key West Art in Public Places, features a fašade of the home that once sat at the site. The rendering depicts the actual cottage as it looked in the late 1890s. The home had been part of a small village of homes that housed the workers of the Gato Cigar Factory.

In November the City Commission approved the installation.

The sculpture of a cottage fašade was made possible through numerous donations, says Bruce Neff. The original cottage, upon which the art piece is modeled, belonged to his wife's family for generations. Patricia Madiedo's grandfather worked as a cigar maker, and her mother was born in the original cottage, says Neff.

The park is one of several in Key West that provide green space as well as a showcase for sculpture artists.
Volunteers worked toward completing the replica of a cigar-maker's cottage at the Gato Village Pocket Park at 616 Luisa St.