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Wednesday, November 21, 2012



421 Catherine Street in Old Town Key West was built circa 1899. The above black and white photo shows how the house looked back in 1965. Now take a look at the old girl as she appears in November 2012 in the color photo below.  She's gotten bigger and probably looks even better than her former self. Too bad that doesn't work for humans.

 I got a chance to show this home a few days ago. I must tell you that I was impressed by three very important and very apparent factors that were readily evident when I entered the front door: quality construction, style, and attention to detail. You don't always see all three in renovations.

This property is a cigar maker cottage that has been enlarged from the original building with a two story addition at the rear. The addition provide me interior living space and allowed the builder to remover old interior walls to create larger living spaces in the historic house. The historic entry was retained and the classic 'shot gun' style entry hallway is still present. The hallway, however, is now vaulted.  Additionally, the hallway was enhanced by the addition of wainscoting and decorative wall sconces.  Pocket doors were added to provide privacy when needed to the first floor bedroom. That space is quite large compared to many of the bedrooms in similar cigar maker cottages. An adjacent bath doubles as guest bath as well.
Note the 'pocket doors' to the main level bedroom
Main floor bedroom

The kitchen is located midway in the house. This space is very welcoming and radiates warmth. Rich wood trim was added throughout the house during the renovation. The main floor ceilings are now enhanced by wood slats that give the house a sense of immense strength - at least in my mind.  Custom kitchen cabinets and the mini-bar at the rear add style to substance in these areas.


The stairway leads to master suite that takes up the entire second floor whereupon you enter through a property doorway into the bedroom chamber.  The master bath and adjacent huge closet are extraordinary in comparison to other cigar maker renovations I have seen.  There is a rear second floor balcony that overlooks the back yard.


The owner obtained permission to build a pool but never did so. A new owner may decide this would complete the house.  Whatever the case, the space is available.
This is where the pool would be located

I think 421 Catherine Street would make a great vacation rental.  The property is located about 1/2 block off Duval Street.  South Beach is a five minute walk to the south. LaTeDa and lots of nearby restaurants, bars, galleries, shops, and more are minutes away in either direction on Duval Street.  Vacationers will love the convenient location and the beautiful spaces, large bedrooms, and private baths.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet and listing photos.  If you would like to see this lovely little home in person, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.


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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.