Don't you hate sequels that never live up to the first movie or book? Or, maybe in this instance, a blog post on the projects of Key West. I hope that is not the case. I last updated readers on the progress (or slowness) of some construction projects going on in the Old Town and Casa Marina areas on February 25th. Nearly five months have passed. It's time to check-up on the projects of Key West.
The historic and quite photogenic home at 618 Eaton Street (above) recently went under contract. An agent in my office is the selling Realtor. It will be really interesting to see what happens to this old house. Stay tuned.
The Eyebrow house at 618 Grinnell Street is undergoing a thorough renovation from ground up. The house was elevated and new piers installed earlier this year. New decks are being added on the sides and rear, and a pool is being installed for the very first time. An interior wall in the front of the house that was removed many years ago is being re-installed. The entire interior is being transformed as well. I am so excited about what this home will look like.
618 Grinnell Street
New Piers Being Installed
Back on the Ground, New Pool and Decks Added
911 Watson Street - Old Town
911 Watson Street as it appeared a couple of years ago
Early on in the development of this extra large lot
Now we are seeing a group of connected buildings that look a bit dissimilar to the original cottage. They jut off at different angles, heights, sizes, diverse architectural styles that suggest they might have been as "additions" over a period of years to the original house. Except we know that is not the case. I definitely want to know more about this property.
909 Flagler Avenue - Casa Marina Area
Pictured below is the progression from almost barren ground to the semblance of a new estate type property in the tony Casa Marina Area of Key West. The property was previously the location of a local church which sustained wind damage during Hurricane Wilma.
That building and two smaller wood frame buildings were demolished to create a 10,381 sq ft building lot (98' x 106'). The property is located adjacent to the truly historic Reynolds property next door to the left.
Local architect Matthew Stratton designed this new property that looks somewhat like an assemblage of cottages that somehow became connected into a much larger living space. What an interesting concept. We often see houses in Old Town where new additions have been added to an existing structure. In many instances those additions are referred to as ''sawtooth" additions. Here the structures are placed in different spaces and at different and divergent angles to the street. If the roofs were flat instead of gabled, we might view the structures as just another modern house. Instead, our eyes are drawn to this property because to me at least it confuses our sense of normalcy. The sight of this site is eye-catching.
924 Flagler Avenue - Casa Marina Area
Across the street at 921 Flagler Avenue the owner is doing a very subtle renovation of a one-of-a-kind home that was built in the 1920s when the Reynolds House on the corner at what is now Reynolds Street and the Casa Marina Hotel (across Reynolds Street) were among the very few abodes in the Casa Marian Area. One family owned that property until the current owner purchased it a couple of years ago. The house recently had a new roof installed which is being complemented by new copper gutters and copper trim. The original wood sash windows are being replaced with custom manufactured mahogany windows with hurricane wind resistant glass. These new windows will qualify this home for maximum windstorm insurance mitigation credits but will still retain the charm of this elegant home.
It's really wonderful that this owner spent the time and money to preserve the look and character of this property. The new roof and copper gutters will likely last way into the next century but will reflect back on a home that was built just before the Florida Keys endured the worst hurricane in recorded history. Passersby may not appreciate the money spent on the new mahogany windows because they look just like what was always there. But that is the point in doing a restoration, isn't it?
411 Grinnell Street - Old Town
517 Elizabeth Street - Old Town
517 Elizabeth Street as it appeared in 1965
517 Elizabeth Street - July 2012
The same developers that are redoing 411 Grinnell Street are renovating this century old house that is located on one of the best blocks in Old Town Key West. HARC recently approved the demolition of the uber-attractive garage at the rear as well as other additions to the property and provided for a tasteful revival of the facade and interiors of this home. These developers have completed several renovations in Key West. They always do really great work.
1016 James Street - Old Town
1016 James Street photographed by the WPA in the 1930s
Two years ago - a wretched mess!
Same house, same location, July 2012
The house is re-emerging as a thing of beauty, a delight to behold.
The little shack at the rear is evolving into a petite poolside cottage.
615 Thomas Street - Bahama Village
I'll close today's post by showing a couple of photos of a commercial property located in the 1200 block of White Street. The property was recently purchased and the new owner will reportedly open a motor scooter store in this location. I wrote about the property well over a year ago. I hoped some new owner would do something great with the property. I am pessimistic about what will now happen or maybe I should say 'not happen'.
If you are thinking of buying a property in Key West, please consider working with me, Gary Thomas. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.