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Monday, September 24, 2012

1617 White Street - Key West

1617 White Street - Key West, Florida
 I recently had the opportunity to show 1617 White Street and decided to share some photos I took and offer my impressions of this incredible tropical estate that is located one block from Higg's Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.
The listing Realtor at Preferred Properties describes this property thus:
"This splendid tropical estate rests on 25013 square feet of land and extends from White Street right through to Sirugo Avenue. The completely renovated elevated residence has ocean views from the cupola and rooftop deck and a dramatic vista across the pool and lawn to the spectacular waterfall. In addition to the luxurious poolside master suite and two guest bedrooms with en suite baths, there is a charming study in the tower and a very efficient office overlooking the pool. This home was featured in the Oct. '01 issue of Architectural Digest. There is a whole-house generator and a hurricane protection system. For additional money, an adjoining property of two units having a total of 3 bedrooms,3 baths and a pool may also be purchased."
The present owner purchased the main house in 1997 and engaged local architect Tom Pope and brought in designer Thomas Achilles (who had designed other projects for the owner). The trio collaborated to transform the orignal house into something truly unique. The most prominent feature visible from the street is the widow's walk. Historically, widow's walks were places where sailors' wives would climb to look out to the sea to search for the returning ships.  Wireless radio made those roof top perches needless. Since the original house was only built in 1983,  the widows' walk was more a follie than a necessity when built. Yet it was this novel feature that attracted many an eye a block away at nearby Higg's Beach or at the city park across the street. The new owner and his design team expanded the widows' walk by adding a rooftop sundeck.
 The palms at the front of the residence now obscure much of the front facade and widows' walk from public view. But the widows' walk is still the most prominent feature when viewed from the rear.
The owner was quoted in the Architectural Digest piece "Key West has Cuban sensuality and a Caribbean irreverence. At the same time, the island has a distinctly American individualism and a clear-stated preference for charm and history that can only be European. We tried to make sure our home blended all of these elements."
I guess I would describe the house as British Colonial Revival. The front veranda features an elaborate front door, decorative crown pediments, and double sets of windows on either side of the front entry. The interiors are rich in design and color. The designer used used a color pallet of tans, caramels, creams, and magenta that were set off by crisp white trim. 
 The home has 3259 sq ft of living space under air that includes formal entry, elegant living area and views to the front and rear,  three bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, and the roof top widows' walk with its 360 degree views of the Island of Key West. The entire property is fenced and lighted. There is bricked off street parking for several vehicles.
Although the main entry is Key West casual, you know upon entry this is not s typical Key West property. The front door opens into the entry which then expands to the right where the living room is located. That space is quite large and has multiple sitting areas. The fireplace, one of three in this home, is the focal point of this area.
The rear wall of the living room and adjacent formal dining room is actually multiple sets of French doors that open out onto the covered veranda that wraps around the rear of the home. Note the bay window effect of the French doors.
Bay window off the dining room
Fireplace on south end of the veranda
The master suite (below) has multiple sets of French doors that open out to the veranda as well.  The suite as presently configured includes a large office area which might easily become a media room, the bedroom chamber with fireplace, luxurious master bath, and an adjacent mini kitchen. 
View from office
View from the master bedroom
There are two bedrooms on the second floor each of which has an en-suite bath.  And finally there is the widows' walk and sundeck which offer amazing views of the south end of the island, the nearby ocean, and the beautiful park-like garden to the rear.  Guests here will truly never want to go home.
 After completing the renovation and expansion of the main house, the owner purchased abutting properties to the rear. Existing houses were razed to expand the rear of the property where a park-like botanical garden was created complete with massive waterfall plus an nearby bandstand for large gatherings. The resulting property is an irregular rectangle that roughly measures 100 feet x 225 feet.
When you enter the home your eyes are immediately drawn through the house, past the pool and the garden to the sputtering waterfall literally located a block away. You don't see sights like that in Key West nor most places. The effect is quite dramatic.
The waterfall demands attention. It commands first time visitors to walk through the garden to the foot of pond where the water collects. While wandering toward the pool I passed a myriad varieties of fruit and citrus trees, flowering trees, and palm trees of all kinds. The garden is amazing.
Ten foot tall waterfall at the rear of the palm grove
Of course there is a huge swimming pool with its own waterfall, a Jacuzzi, an outdoor shower, a pool kitchen and pool laundry (for pool towels, of course). A sunny deck  surrounds the pool. An expansive loggia provides ample entertaining areas for many guests.  Hilary Clinton was a guest of honor at a campaign event held here a few years ago. I heard there were about five hundred supporters present.
CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls data sheet on this wonderful Key West property.  And CLICK HERE to view the photos I took. I can't take much pride in these pics. It was my first time with a new Nikon and I didn't do as well as I planned.




2 comments:

Dharmendra Kumar said...
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Dharmendra Kumar said...
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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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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.