Built by Don Luis Martinez as a hurricane proof cigar factory after the hurricane of 1909. It was the home of Flor de Luis Martinez, the only remaining Key West cigar brand still in production. Tampaâ€™s Santaella Company produced cigars here from 1919-1935. The building is only one of three masonry cigar factories still remaining in what was once the cigar capital of the United States.
After the Great Fire of 1886, Indian Block became a popular building material. The all concrete material was heralded as fire proof. Portable concrete forms were used to shape hand mixed cement into uniform blocks of concrete with an easily recognizable rusticated face. When the concrete cured, the forms were removed and the blocks were stacked in place with grout to hold them together. While fire resistant, the unreinforced block walls were susceptible to hurricane winds.