Tag Archives: Key West history

1127 Packer Street, Key West, FL 33040—$650,000.

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Strolling by the intersection of Old Town’s Packer and Catherine Streets, you will likely pause to capture an image of the picture-perfect cottage shining on the corner. A Key West souvenir to enjoy for a lifetime, this adorable island home is a dream come true.

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Constructed in 1928, the beautifully renovated and maintained historic shotgun cottage features two bedrooms and one bath in 840 square feet of indoor living space.

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Teeming with casually sophisticated coastal style, the home’s inviting sun-dappled interior features gorgeous hardwood floors and high ceilings.

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The tranquil master bedroom offers a welcome respite from days and nights of tropical adventures.

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Perfect for catching ocean breezes, the shotgun cottage’s architectural design allows air to flow freely through the home.

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Guests will feel more than welcome as they settle into their inviting room for a visit.

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Flowing to the garden, the sunny kitchen’s beachy décor captures the joyful essence of the island’s laid-back lifestyle.

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The 1,687 square foot lot has recently been spruced up with mature tropical plantings, brick pavers, and a convenient irrigation system.

Ideally situated six blocks from Upper Duval Street’s celebrated galleries, dining, and entertainment—and six blocks from Higgs Beach’s shimmering Atlantic waters—you will enjoy easy walking and biking access to the very best of Key West. Stay close to home and savor the cuisine at renowned neighbor eateries; The Flaming Buoy Filet Co., El Siboney Restaurant, and Seven Fish.

Whiling away the hours on the picturesque front porch, visiting with friends and neighbors in the island-style living room, or sharing a bottle of wine with loved ones in the garden, you will undoubtedly come to cherish all your moments spent in this charming Key West vacation home.

—Dean & Keith Townsend, The Townsend Team

Click here to enjoy a virtual tour of this captivating island cottage.

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser's office c1965; 1127 Packer St.; built 1928; Tract 13, Sqr 5, Pt Lot 14

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser’s office c1965; 1127 Packer St.; built 1928; Tract 13, Sqr 5, Pt Lot 14

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SELLING YOUR ISLAND COTTAGE? COLOR IT KEY WEST!

Key West colors first entered the world’s consciousness in the 1970’s, when free-spirited locals began painting their historic cottages a spectrum of tropical hues. Today, buyers looking to purchase their Key West dream cottages expect them to be painted to match the colorful, idealized images that have been imprinted on their minds over decades.

Beautifully painted in Key West colors, the quintessential conch cottage at 1127 Packer Street radiates captivating curb appeal.

Beautifully painted in Key West colors, the quintessential conch cottage at 1127 Packer Street radiates captivating curb appeal.

We have found that our clients respond less favorably to cottages that are painted in the traditional (white with black or dark green shutters) Key West color scheme. They immediately see dollar signs when they strongly feel the necessity to paint a home’s exterior to make it look like the “cute” conch cottage of their dreams.

1127 Packer Street before it was colored Key West.

1127 Packer Street before it was colored Key West.

Although buyers often make the declaration that they are purchasing a property because it makes financial sense, the overriding reason is that it makes emotional sense for them. Frequently used to represent and elicit emotions, colors connect with individuals on a subconscious level. The house colors of Key West have come to represent the island’s lighthearted and carefree lifestyle that is envied around the globe.

Key West colors not only enhance a cottage’s curb appeal, they greatly increase the home’s web appeal. Realtor.com and Zillow.com primarily utilize images to market real estate on the smart phone in the pocket of nearly everyone looking to purchase property. Bland, white or beige, shotgun cottages—that look like they could be easily transplanted anywhere—do not capture the attention of online shoppers looking for their island dream home.

If you are planning to sell your conch cottage, wander around Old Town snapping pictures of the quintessential Key West cottages sporting color combinations that speak to you. The coastal colors that garner a positive response from you, will undoubtedly grab the attention of buyers as well. Pickup a selection of paint chips (with HARC approved historic colors) at Strunk Hardware and play with color combinations over a glass of wine with friends and neighbors. Once you have decided on the perfect color scheme, head over to City Hall to get the painting permit process rolling.

The former white and dark green color scheme on display at 1711 Von Phister Street did not command the attention of potential buyers.

The former white and dark green color scheme on display at 1711 Von Phister Street did not command the attention of potential buyers.

Painted to reflect the scolors of Key West, the cottage's personality shines.

Painted to reflect the soft tropical colors of Key West, the cottage’s personality shines.

When successfully selling any product, you must give buyers what they want. Key West cottage buyers want them to look like their fantasy. Reflect the tropical hues of the island’s sea, sky, and flora in the exterior colors you paint your home, and you will not only capture the imagination of eager buyers, you will get your cigar maker’s cottage sold quickly and for the best price.

We strongly encourage our sellers to color it Key West before they offer their cottages for sale. A tropically painted island cottage makes a winning first impression every time.

—Dean & Keith Townsend, The Townsend Team

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.

1010 Elgin Lane, Key West, FL 33040—SOLD $1,200,000.

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Among the sweetest perks of selling Key West real estate are the array of invitations, to tour the island’s hidden treasures, that come across our desks. After experiencing the captivating cottage at 1010 Elgin Lane, we felt like we had discovered a pot of gold.

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Tucked away on a hidden Old Town lane, this historic, 3 bedroom/3 bath, property can best be described as personality plus. With quintessential Key West curb appeal and a front porch tailor-made for whiling away the hours, the home lays out an unforgettable welcome mat.

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Crossing the threshold, one is immediately struck by the cottage’s storybook charm. The art-filled living room lends itself to whispered confidences and joyous celebrations. Wonderful artistic details delight at every turn.

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The generous, cottage-style, eat-in kitchen offers views of the beautiful garden and pool.

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Downstairs, the master bedroom and adjoining sitting room are awash with dappled light.

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Custom features create a tropical island paradise in the home’s main bath.

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Born from a childhood fantasy, an enchanting secret garden awaits in the backyard.

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Guests will long to stay forever in the coastal guest cottage overlooking the sparkling pool.

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Reminiscent of a British architectural folly, or a New England summer house, the unforgettable octagonal pavilion offers a peaceful retreat from the world’s cares.

Undoubtedly, the magical island escape at 1010 Elgin Lane has captured our hearts. We bet you will fall in love with this not-to-be-missed home as well.

—Keith & Dean

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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