Tag Archives: Key West estates

TAKE A PEEK INTO YOUR KEY WEST HOME’S PAST

Back in 1965, the Monroe County Property Appraiser’s office took on the arduous task of taking a Polaroid photograph to document every structure in the county. The resulting group of 4,470 architectural images offers an extraordinary glimpse into a time in Key West history just before homes and commercial structures began to be restored en masse. It is surprising (if not shocking) to see how rundown much of the island’s buildings were at the time. The collection serves as a testament to the commitment of countless individuals that have—over the past fifty years—invested their money, blood, sweat, and tears into returning Key West’s historic structures to their previous glory.

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser's office c1965;  1405 Olivia St.; built c1906; Tract 7, Sqr 2, Pt Lot 13

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser’s office c1965; 1405 Olivia St.; built c1906; Tract 7, Sqr 2, Pt Lot 13

1405 Olivia Street as seen today.

1405 Olivia Street as seen today.

The treasure trove of photos was endowed to the Monroe County Public Library in Key West. Luckily, the library has made the entire collection available online at http://bit.ly/keyspix.

Click here to visit the website and you will be able to explore a vast array of historic Keys photographs. The 1965 Property Appraiser’s Polaroids have been grouped together in the album The Way We Were—Key West 1960’s.

You can search for the 1965 picture of your Key West home by clicking on the search icon just above the photographs (not the Flickr search icon at the top of the page). Type in the number and street name only. Do not include Street, Avenue, Lane, etc. Undoubtedly, you will be delighted to see how your home looked over fifty years ago. Download the image to your computer and share it with family and friends. Frame a print and proudly hang it on the wall of your Key West dream home. The peek into your home’s past will surely spark many memorable conversations.

—Dean & Keith Townsend, The Townsend Team

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser's office c1965; 1209 Knowles Lane; built 1920's; Gwynn Sub, Pt Tract 13

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser’s office c1965; 1209 Knowles Lane; built 1920’s; Gwynn Sub, Pt Tract 13

Today, beautifully renovated 1209 Knowles Lane shines brightly.

Today, beautifully renovated 1209 Knowles Lane shines brightly.

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser's office c1965; 719 Eisenhower Dr. aka 720 Eisenhower Dr.; house was originally located on the water @719, c1975 house moved across the street to 720 Eisenhower; Tract 7, Lot 5

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser’s office c1965; 719 Eisenhower Dr. aka 720 Eisenhower Dr.; house was originally located on the water @719, c1975 house moved across the street to 720 Eisenhower; Tract 7, Lot 5

720 Eisenhower Drive has changed a great deal in the last half-century.

720 Eisenhower Drive has changed a great deal in the last half-century.

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser's office c1965; 813 Frances St.; built 1920's; Tract 6, Sqr 4, Pt Lot 10 & 11

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser’s office c1965; 813 Frances St.; built 1920’s; Tract 6, Sqr 4, Pt Lot 10 & 11

Beautiful 813 Frances Street today.

Lovely 813 Frances Street captivates today.

Photo taken by Prpoerty Appraiser's office c1965; 530 Grinnell Street; built 1923; Sqr 46, Pt Lot 1

Photo taken by Prpoerty Appraiser’s office c1965; 530 Grinnell Street; built 1923; Sqr 46, Pt Lot 1

One of the most charming cottages in Old Town Key West, 530 Grinnell Street as seen today.

One of the most charming cottages in Old Town Key West, 530 Grinnell Street as seen today.

WHAT FEATURE TOPS THE LISTS OF TODAY’S KEY WEST HOME BUYERS?

Swaying palm trees, a shimmering pool, and a porch of indecision always seem to be on the gotta have it list of those dreaming of purchasing their own corner of paradise. An Old Town location, move-in ready home, and off-street parking are common requirements. One characteristic has risen to the top of our clients’ lists. A ground floor master suite has become the most desired feature of today’s Key West home buyers.

With the Florida Keys coming in with the world’s sixth highest, resort area, million-dollar-plus average home prices (per square foot)—just after Monaco, Naples, Telluride, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Jackson Hole—owning a piece of paradise is not exactly cheap. Consequently, most of our buyers have successfully reached a stage of life where they can afford to acquire their island dream home.

Most of our buying clientele are in their 50’s and 60’s. They have worked hard and have gained a level of career success; allowing them to indulge in a charming Victorian cottage, convenient oceanfront condominium, or historic Old Town estate. Middle age certainly has its perks, but it can present some physical drawbacks. The inability to easily climb stairs on the way to bed is one of the main reasons people are unable to age gracefully in their home. With the possibility of mobility issues looming down the road, a ground floor master suite is an important feature for many baby boomers, retirees, and those with older parents, family, and friends.

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When Key West’s treasured Classical Revival homes were built between 1880 and 1910, they typically had bedrooms on the second floor to catch the island’s breezes. While many of these gems have been lovingly restored and renovated over the past decades, too few projects have added ground level master suites.

The value of an easily accessible master bedroom and bath cannot be underestimated. Many of our buyers will not even look at a property that does not have a first-floor master suite—or the potential to add one.

When investing in Key West real estate, you can’t go wrong if you fall in love with a home showcasing a ground floor master suite, or in choosing to include one in your renovation design. You will command a higher price, and find the right buyer in nothing flat, when the time comes to sell your property.

—Dean & Keith Townsend, The Townsend Team

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1410 Reynolds Street, Key West, FL 33040—SOLD $1,670,000.

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Stroll two short blocks from the Waldorf Astoria’s historic Casa Marina Resort—the final jewel in famed railroad tycoon Henry Flagler’s crown—and you will discover another shining Key West gem. The stunning property at 1410 Reynolds Street is not to be missed. Style and sophistication abounds in this exceptional, 3 bedroom/2.5 bath residence. Beautifully renovated and exquisitely furnished, this 2,262 square foot, single story home is being offered for sale turnkey (excluding the artwork). We could not be more delighted to be marketing and selling this unforgettable new listing.

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Expansive and inviting open plan living, dining, and media areas showcase Brazilian cherry floors, vaulted ceilings, and walls of sliding glass doors and casement windows. Elegantly appointed with designer furnishings, the space is ideal for entertaining friends and family.

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Featuring Viking and Bosch stainless appliances, custom cherry cabinets, and gorgeous cork flooring, the spacious kitchen is a chef’s dream come true.

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Two tastefully designed and generous guest rooms welcome visitors with grace.

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The glorious master suite opens to the garden and features a sunny sitting room retreat.

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With double vessel sinks, tranquil soaking tub, and spectacular glass shower, the spa-inspired master bath is unforgettable.

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Completely walled for privacy, the mature tropical garden sports a custom flagstone patio and sparkling free form pool. Off-street parking for two cars, metal roof, hurricane shutters, and X Flood Zone placement heighten the property’s appeal. Ideally located three blocks from Higgs Beach and a short stroll from Upper Duval Street, the property is close to all the best of Key West island life.

—Keith & Dean

Click here to enjoy a wonderful virtual tour of this stylish and sophisticated Casa Marina home.

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824 Thomas Street, Key West, FL—SOLD $924,500.

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If you have dreamed of finding a historic barn, firehouse, or church and turning it into a one-of-a-kind showplace—or lost a Sunday afternoon captivated by amazing home conversions on HGTV—then our new listing at 824 Thomas Street, in Key West’s historic Bahama Village, is your dream come true.

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dmre-824thomas-3173Erected by former slaves in 1867, the Zion Primitive Baptist Church was rebuilt in 1911. The African American congregation closed its doors in the 1970’s and the current owner converted the church to an extraordinary single-family home in 1983. Elementary architectural features attest to its ecclesiastical origins. The simple elegance of the corner steeple, prominent double-door entrance, and pointed-arch windows reflect the structure’s Carpenter Gothic style.

Being offered for sale for the first time in 33 years, 824 Thomas Street presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a truly unique Key West property.

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Working on the project for over three decades, the craftsman owner has created an unforgettable home with 2,692 square feet of living space on a lot of 4,865 square feet. The converted church structure features two dramatic living spaces: a 2 bedroom/1 bath main living area and a 1 bedroom/1 bath Mother-in-Law suite/artist’s studio. A charming 1 bedroom/1 bath guest cottage and a spacious storage shed can be found in the tropical backyard garden. Generous off-street parking and a prized X Flood Zone location add to the property’s substantial charms.

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dmre-824thomas-3154The main living area offers striking spaces rarely seen in Key West. Soaring to 27 feet at its peak, the great room’s beamed ceiling is breathtaking. Original Romanesque arches and unique craftsman features demand one’s eye at every turn. With outstanding flow from the great room to the massive kitchen space and out to the garden, the home is ideal for entertaining. A cozy guestroom, full bath, and large laundry complete the first floor. Looking over both the great room and the backyard, a grand master bedroom dominates the second story.

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A lofty, 1 bedroom/1 bath, Mother-in-Law suite has been created in the front of the converted church structure. Architectural Fir wood beams add to the drama of the space’s 27’ ceiling. A roomy loft bedroom—with skylights—looks out over open plan living below. The towering space calls out for an artist to take up residence.

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dmre-824thomas-3166A secret garden can be found at the back of the property. Overlooking the mature tropical garden, a historic, 1 bedroom/1 bath, guest cottage offers visitors a charming private retreat. The deep lot is beautifully landscaped with rare palms and features a grand old Sapodilla tree. With a generous storage shed, privacy, and room for a sparkling pool, the backyard garden is a rare gem in the Key West Historic District.

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Nothing less than a Bahama Village Neighborhood landmark, 824 Thomas Street is routinely photographed, sketched, and painted by visitors and artists from around the world. Iconic Key West restaurant, Blue Heaven, can be found on the corner, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum sits a block away, and you are just a two-block stroll to all the best of world famous Duval Street.

Since we first toured this incomparable home, we have not stopped daydreaming about what we would do to make it our own. We wish we were buying this wondrous corner of paradise.

—Keith & Dean

Click here to enjoy of virtual tour of this truly one-of-a-kind Key West home.

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser's office c1965; 824 Thomas St.; built 1920's; Zion Primitive Baptist Church; Tract 3, Sqr 2, Sub 5

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser’s office c1965; 824 Thomas St.; built 1920’s; Zion Primitive Baptist Church; Tract 3, Sqr 2, Sub 5

A POCKET LISTING TO LOVE—OFF THE MARKET

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618 Catholic Lane & 1022 Roberts Lane, Key West, FL 33040—$2,400,000.

A 3 Bedroom/3.5 Bath Compound with 1,908 Sq. Ft. of Living Space on a 5,489 Sq. Ft. Lot

Tucked away at the end of two tranquil Old Town lanes, the combined properties of 618 Catholic Lane and 1022 Roberts Lane offer a private and secluded sanctuary to love. Not to be seen on the Key West Association of REALTORS® MLS, Realtor.com, or Zillow.com, this beautiful Key West compound is quietly being offered for sale for the first time.

A charming single story, 2 bedroom/2 bath, 1,200 square foot main house smiles across a gorgeous tropical garden to an unforgettable one level, 1 bedroom/1.5 bath, 708 square foot guest cottage. With inviting covered outdoor space, a sparkling pool, and generous room for alfresco entertaining, the compound offers the best of island living.

When it comes to Key West properties, there are special properties and there are once in a lifetime opportunities. This remarkable refuge is a rare gem in the heart of Old Town. It is not to be missed.

—Keith & Dean

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