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Sunday, October 23, 2011

405 South Street - Ocean View Property - Key West

405 South Street was a Wedding Present in 1913

Judge JV Harris (father of the bride front right) Marion Harris (bride to be) left rear photographed in 1900 at the Southernmost House across the street

405 South Street as it appeared in 1965

I actually do receive emails from perspective buyers who often describe features they want in their Key West dream home. One of the most elusive features is having a water view. The new listing, not mine, at 405 South Street actually has water views in multiple locations. And it has wonderFUL ocean breezes to cool the house down during the hot Key West summers.


The listing Realtor describes 405 South Street thus:
"Elegant & historic, this meticulously renovated home at the Southernmost Point achieved the highest honor of the Ceramic Star for renovation. Water views from 2nd floor. Lovely porch & balcony. Main house is 4 bed/3 bath. Brazilian hardwood floors, original moulding & doors. First floor has double parlors one of which is a home theatre, a formal dining room, den & casual dining, full bath & laundry/storage. Kitchen has granite counters and stainless steel appliances. 2nd floor has 3 bedrooms/1 bath. 3rd floor is sleeping loft with full bath. Central Vac and Security system. Rental unit above garage w/sep elec meter. Off street parking for multiple cars."
I remember a showing several years ago when the listing agent said that his listing was "historic" and I asked an honest question - what historic thing happened here or who lived here. He looked shocked and rebuked me for questioning his authority. He said all houses in the historic district are historic (by virtue of being there). In the instance of 405 South Street the historic nature may be more about how the house was built, by whom, and what later owners did to improve the place than about any specific historic event. But that's just fine by me.

The listing agent describes that Judge J.V. Harris (who owned the Southernmost House) bought the ground on South Street and later built 405 South Street as a wedding present for his daughter in 1910. Somebody remarked the house is so delicate that it looks like a wedding cake. I guess that is appropriate. But if you look closely, you will see that the house is actually a big strong house made of Indian Stone. Indian Stone is a man made material fabricated in Key West which was used to build several residences and commercial buildings around the turn of the 20th century. When an addition was around the year 2000, local craftsmen actually replicated the original Indian Stone so the new addition (shown below) made a seamless transition from the original house.

405 South Street is a total "Un-Conch House". It is a big (2852 sq ft) house by Key West standards with living space on three levels. It is devoid of the Greek Revival style so visible in most of the larger Old Town homes. The exterior is virtually all stone or man made material as opposed to wood so prevalent in Old Town. The interior has no Dade County Pine. I would describe the interior as being more Victorian in nature than most houses built during the same time period. It's almost as if the owner imported some fancy architect from up north to bring culture to the Keys. (I'm making this stuff up as I type. But it sounds good to me.)

The front entry

Front parlor and rear parlor

Partial ocean view from the west and east windows

The front entry is very impressive. The ornate iron stair case (added by a later owner who was a mayor of Key West) provides access to the second floor. That stair case instantly puts a guest on notice that they are someplace very special. The down stairs has two very formal living areas and a formal dining room. There is a bay window in the front parlor. You can see the Southernmost Point out of the west window and you can get a glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean from the east window. The revamped kitchen is at the left rear and the newly added family room is at the right rear. A set of French doors leads down to the rear yard. The recent addition earned the home the the star mentioned above.

Second floor landing has a view of the Southernmost Point

The Southernmost Point viewed from second floor wrap around balcony

The second floor landing is very impressive. It provides access to the three bedrooms on that floor. The master bedroom is at the front. You can sit in bed and view the upper reaches of the Southernmost Point from bed. These three bedrooms share a single bath. A recently added staircase leads to an fourth bedroom on the third floor. This space is just magical. The lighting is subdued, the two beds are built into tight spaces. (Adrian Monk would not feel comfortable here. The space is balanced and proportioned. Little kids and adults who like intimate and charming spaces will fall madly in love with this area.) And this space has its own complete bathroom. CLICK HERE to view a slide show of photos I took of this property.

Innovative staircase to third floor bedroom area

One of two sleeping nooks in the third floor bedroom - this space is just wonderful!

Both the first and second floors have access to wrap around terraces on each level. The second floor has a great view of the Southernmost Point. If you owned this house you would have people walking past the house or riding bikes, motor scooters or motor cycles, automobiles, pedicabs, and buses from early morning until around sunset. You could sit on your porch and watch humanity go past your home. You ought not consider this house if you cannot accept this fact.

I took exterior photos on a Saturday morning. I imagined owning the house and walking the dog over to South Beach to watch the sun rise. And then walking the area and grabbing a coffee at the Banana Cafe. There a few soles up when I took the pics. They were ogling the sunrise with me; others were jogging down South Street and walking down Duval Street. Key West gradually wakes up each morning the streets come alive. The front of 405 South Street is quite at night but it can be pretty busy most days.

Imagine walking your dog with a cup of coffee in hand to watch sunrise

There is a two story carriage house which is a legal unit. Downstairs there is space for the family car. Upstairs there is really nice space for a live-in. Even the living area in this unit has a partial view of the ocean.

405 South Street is offered at $2,250,000. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls data sheet and to view the professional shot listing photos. If you would like to see 405 South Street, please consider taking a look with me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a buyer's agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West.

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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.