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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

1311 Truman Avenue - Old Town - Key West

The two old photos above show 1311 Truman Avenue as it appeared half a century ago before it was restored by two local antique dealers, Gerald Goldman and Sam Senia,  for which they received the first place and first place ever Old Island Restoration Foundation Award.

In his book THE HOUSES OF KEY WEST Alex Cammerer relates the history of this home back to the turn of the 20th Century when it was built by Benjamin and Mary Fogarty Trevor. Mr. Trevor opened the first steam laundry in Key West and later served as mayor from 1903-1905.  Later the house was used as a church and as the site of the women's club.  Messrs. Goldman and Senia purchased the property in 1975 and began their restoration. The current (and only the fourth owner) purchased the property in 1999.  The house was not abused and retains most of the original architectural and building elements in tact.  Subsequent renovations expanded the wrap-around porches, remodeled the kitchen, and added the guest house. The gardens on the Truman Avenue, Florida Street, and Albury Street were planted with numerous varieties of trees and tropical vegetation. The gardens are irrigated and have subtle lighting along the red brick pathways.


In his book Cammerer describes the house at 1311 Truman Avenue as being typical of the "Folk Victorian" style that evolved using mass produced decorative elements such as turned spindles or square posts with beveled corners seen in many Italianate porches. He describes a mix-mash of styles that came together by various Key West builders who used these mass produced decorative elements without apparent adherence to any architectural guideline. Instead, it appears that what was available became that which got used. It worked.



Cammerer states that although "1311 Truman Avenue  resembles many vernacular houses in Key West, it has predominantly Victorian features. The asymmetry of design, the bay windows, the front door, along with the decorative details are all Victorian. The front door is from the Southernmost house, a gift from the owner." Cammerer concludes "Key West houses really are conservative ladies in ornate Victorian clothes". 


The listing broker describes this property by stating:
 "Spectacular turn of the century estate, available with Seller financing. Completely renovated in 1999, this grand Queen Anne home features two story wrap around verandas overlooking lush gardens and a large, sunny swimming pool. Rooms are large, ceilings high, floor plan surprisingly contemporary, Dade County Pine finished with great attention to detail and many, many french doors and large double hung windows bring light into every corner of the house. Main home is 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths house, guest cottage a new 3/3 with its own hot tub. Covered, gated carport and access gates from Florida and Albury make parking no problem."

I walked inside the old house for the very first time Sunday afternoon just as an Open House had ended. The day was unusual for Key West -the sky was mostly gray. We had showers on and off for most of the day. I took a lot of photos which readers can see if you CLICK HERE. I encourage readers to examine the photos of this wonderful old home that looks to be in remarkably good shape.  The house has not been abused or neglected. Instead, it has been lovingly maintained and treated as a valuable asset.

Welcoming Entry
Large formal dining room with bay windows

1311 Truman Avenue is a large property by Key West standards. The lot has got to be one of the largest on the island at 14,490 square feet. The main house sits back from the street behind lush gardens on three sides. According to Monroe County Property Appraiser records, the main house was built circa 1899. It has  3102 sq ft of living space under air. This does not include any of the two tiered wrap around porches or verandas.  Nor does it include the separate guest cottage built in 1999 at the rear of the lot. That cottage has 1192 sq ft of living space. Total combined living space for both structures is 4,294 sq ft under air.  That does not include the separate cottage which houses the laundry and utility room nor does it include the covered off street parking. The guest cottage has a shared living and small kitchen/dining area plus three large bedrooms each with en-suite baths. The current owners installed top quality bathroom and light fixtures throughout the house and guest cottage. The floors, windows, doors, window treatments are all top quality.


There are many features to savor in this home but the rear veranda that overlooks the back garden to the north and the pool to the east has got to be among the top. The veranda beckons you to have a cozy brunch or casual Key West dinner party with family or friends. This home has lots of space for entertaining a lot of people in many different locations at one time.  I also think this property would make a fantastic vacation rental. It has the size to accommodate a very large family or group of travelers. The grounds would make a wonderful venue for a romantic Key West wedding. 


1311 Truman Avenue is a very special property that will appeal to a buyer who seeks a large home with lots of living space for friends and family. Each of the bedrooms and bathrooms in the main house and the cottage are equally attractive and all are spacious. This is a grand home for grand living.  This property is available at $2,700,000CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet.

If you would like to see this property or any other home in Key West please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-76-2642. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. Let me help you find your home in Paradise.








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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.