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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Sarah Addison House - 916 Center Street, Key West

I have written about the wondrous creations of Key West folk artist Ronny Bailey on several occasions over the past few years. His work is so simple and pure that others think they can do the same thing. According to Ronny, several former builders such as himself have told Ronny they tried to create similar properties only to give up in utter frustration over how long and tedious the task.
Ronny is a Conch born and bred in Key West. He was a builder by trade until he hung up his tool belt a few years back. He started to fiddle with some old Dade County Pine and created his first piece. When his wife saw what he had created, she exclaimed "I didn't know you could do that!" He replied "Neither did I."  And so began his new career as an artist as older man - a man who pays homage to his native hometown re-creating miniature visions of the small homes and businesses that make Key West such a treasured place. The Sarah Addison house at 916 Center Street is one of his latest creations.
Ronny Bailey told me he reclaimed Dade County Pine from the restoration currently underway at the former Pilot Houses guest house at 414 Simonton Street. (That property will appear in an upcoming blog.) Ronny cut and stripped the pine into a variety of shapes and sizes which he then used to replicate Sarah's house and all the pieces that make this little place a piece of art. Even the the roof is reclaimed Dade County Pine refashioned into a different form.
Ronny shared a written history of the home researched and retold by Sharon Wells. 916 Center Street was the home of Sarah Addison. Monroe County records show that the lot at 916 Center Street was purchased on July 13, 1874 by Sarah Addison a Florida born black woman "with roots in the Bahamas". She paid $175 for the lot. The 1884 "birds eye view" map of Key West shows a 1 1/2 story house located near Division Street (previously known as Rocky Road and now known as Truman Avenue.) The 1885 tax assessment valued the improved lot at $300. On March 18, 1889 Sarah married Joseph Pain (Payne).  The 1887 Bensel Directory noted Jospeh Payne to be a butcher and  "c" for colored. Payne resided in this house until his death in 1912 at age 51. According to Sharon Wells, Sarah Addison Payne lived at 916 Center Street until her death in 1923. Sarah had six children, worked as a cook, and never remarried.   
Sarah, the black cat, the cocky rooster, the rocker, the tea kettle and the coal stove upon which it sits, the ice box and even the kitchen sink were carved or fashioned out of Dade County Pine. You will quickly note that instead of being all bright and looking freshly painted, this house and the personal property and animals show the wear of time and grime.
Ronny removed the back panel so that I could photograph the interior. Ronny took the time to make the inside as perfect as he did the outside. Note the ripped down version of the Dade County Pine interior walls and the simple interior trim.You can click any photo to make it larger. If you click the photo of the icebox, coal stove, and sink you'll see the words PEACE, LOVE, and JOY on shelve over the sink. These are the watchwords of Ronny Bailey's life. You'll find these words on some part of each piece he creates.
I found a photo of 916 Center Street taken in 1965 which was about 70 years after the house was built. I took a photo of the place this morning. Today the house is but a part of a vacation rental conglomerate that services this part of Old Town. Alas, Rocky Road and the stuff of yore is no more. But thanks to Ronny Bailey the little houses and businesses of our past can live long into our futures.
If your are thinking about buying a home or business in Key West, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or send me an email at I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

1435 South Roosevelt Blvd. #1001 - Key West

JUST LISTED 1435 South Roosevelt Boulevard #1001 in Key West, Florida is 2192 sq ft stand alone private residence in the Coconut Mallory Compound. Loyal readers may not recognize the address, but I am sure you know the location on the eastern shores of our lovely island home.
I added an arrow to show the location of 1435 South Roosevelt #1001. This photo was taken in the 1990s. Since then the Navy Hospital has been totally rebuilt and many of the buildings visible then are now gone. However, the historic three story Casa Roma Tower is still visible from the street and  also from one of the bedrooms in this home. Not shown in this older photo is the new dock and boat slips appurtenant to the Coconut Mallory Compound. More about that later.
The listing Realtor describes this home this way:
"At the Gateway to Key West surprise yourself beyond all your expectations with this one of a kind residence. All on one level, walled for privacy in the Coconut Mallory Condo compound. The house opens onto an outside logia for year round relaxing and entertaining with a large private pool. Large living/dining and kitchen with top of the line appliances, icemaker and wine cooler. There are 3 en-suite oversized bedrooms and bathrooms with ample closets. In addition there is a small office off the kitchen with built-ins that could be converted to a 4th bedroom. 2 Car garage and parking courtyard. 30 ft. boat slip available separate from purchase for$150,000. Monthly fee is $1170 includes exterior insurances, water, electric and basic cable. Hurricane doors and windows."
Master Suite

Guest Bedroom - This room has park-like views of the new Navy Hospital and Grounds
Separate Guest Suite
Entrance to the totally separate guest suite is off the far end of the large and sunny pool. The suite includes a mini-kitchen and seating area. The suite is as styled and detailed as the rest of the house.  Not shown is the private garage with a separate entrance off South Roosevelt Blvd.
The buyer of this home can also purchase a private 30 foot boat slip at the Coconut Mallory Resort for an additional $150,000.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet on this property which is offered at $1,450,000. After you have looked at the photos, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to set up a private showing of this property. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

1901 South Roosevelt #107 West, Key West - Price Redution at La Brisa Condominium

The asking price on La Brisa Condominium Unit 107 West was just reduced from $650,000 to $593,500. That's certainly something for potential buyers to celebrate as  La Brisa is located directly across from Smather's Beach in Key West.
The listing Realtor describes this 1099 sq ft unit this way:
"Live each day as if you are on vacation! Looking for a peaceful and calm beach home? A few steps from the azure waters of the Atlantic, directly across from white sandy beaches, you will find this renovated two bedroom/two bath condo. Offering spa amenities; salt water pool and spa, tennis court, his and her saunas, and private club house. Featuring stainless appliances, granite countertops, beautiful bamboo flooring, spacious master with ensuite bath, full laundry and tranquil lanai. Covered parking and storage. Offered turn-key for your staycation or prime rental investment."
La Brisa was built in phases in the 1990s. This building was completed in1996. This unit is offered by the original owner. It has been recently updated and looks clean as a whistle. The furnishings are negotiable. The monthly condo fees are $589 and include cable television, trash removal, building maintenance and insurances, professional association management, security, pool and grounds maintenance. Each unit has an under building parking spot plus storage. There is a large pool and tennis courts. There are some ocean and salt pond views plus views of the pool and tennis courts.
 One last photo to remind you why people come to Key West. Our beaches aren't perfect, but they are pretty close. And they are very close if you happen to live across the street from Smather's Beach in Key West.

 CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet and listing photos. After you have looked online, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to take a look in person. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

1435 Flagler Avenue, Key West - Just Listed - Mid-Century Home

Just Listed, but not by me, 1435 Flagler Avenue in Key West, Florida. This is a genuinely interesting and inviting Mid-Century home located on a large corner lot a few blocks south the the Atlantic Ocean. If you, Dear Reader, are age 50 or older, you may have grown up in a house like this because it is typical of that time period. There are little touches here and there that hearken back to that era. And for the most part, this home has been untouched by time. While the listing Realtor calls this place a "fixer upper", I'm not so sure that everyone would agree. It needs some paint and a new kitchen, but many buyers could move in and feel right at home. Read on and imagine how you what you might do with this classic home.
The listing Realtor describes this house this way:
"Opportunity presents itself with this large home on a large corner lot. This fixer upper already has a good, strong metal roof plus a clean and working pool. The existing floor plan will be easy to work with to create your own dream home."
This is the view when you enter the front door. Homes of this era are often repetitions on a theme. This place happens to have been a higher-end version of that them. The opening on the right leads to a hallway to the two bedrooms. The room to the rear may have been used as the family room while the room to the left is definitely the dining room. The kitchen and laundry are to the upper far left.
The above photos clearly demonstrate the way houses were laid out fifty years ago. Each room had a specific purpose. The formal dining room was probably that special room reserved for special occasions. The family room probably has a door that opens out to the huge back yard and pool. I am sure the family room was the real gathering place for this home. The laundry room is quite large. It has a door that opens into the carport. CLICK HERE to view more photos of this home.
This is a two bedroom, two bath house. If I owned this house I would blowout the back windows and add glass doors and a small landing leading to the pool  I suppose a new owner could convert the dining room into a new third bedroom. That is certainly a possibility. The master bedroom has an en-suite bath with classic white and black tiles. The guest bath is located midway between the two bedrooms.
This 1511 sq ft home was built in 1963. It sits on a 7646 sq ft lot (82.66' X 92.5') corner lot. The lot is really nicely landscaped with many matured trees and tropical foliage. It needs some trimming, but it is a beauty otherwise. 
I like this home the way it looks but it could be re-interpreted by adding impact windows and doors and opening the spaces between the rooms so that the informal living spaces flow into each other rather than continue to exist as separate spaces.
CLICK HERE to view 1435 Flagler Avenue in the Key West MLS datasheet and listing photos. This home is offered at just $479,000. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to see this really nifty Mid-Century home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. I think you're gonna like this place.


The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.


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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.