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.
Erected 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.
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.
The 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.
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.
A 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.
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