509 South Street was built around 1910 in the Classical Revival style typical of many of the larger homes built on the island in that era. It was built with wooden pegs instead of nails and features characteristic Key West balconies and gingerbread trim.
The original owners were the Currys, a family of seafarers, sailmakers and cigar rollers from the Bahamas and British Virgin Islands. A daughter, Myra Curry, inherited the house and lived there with her husband, Authur Pastorini, a World War I veteran whose parents immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1902. As a young man in Key West, Pastorini worked as a cigar roller and learned fluent Spanish. As a result, Cuban refugees often arrived at the house seeking advice from Pastorini, who worked most of his life as a postal clerk.
Myra and Authur sold the house in the 1960s and in 1968, in keeping with the times, it was briefly a hippie colony. In 1969 the house was purchased and lovingly restored.