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Friday, August 16, 2013

822 Carsten Lane - Key West - Old Town Dream Cottage

 I have often written about living life on one of the slow lanes in Key West. The slow lanes are for meant for people that are happy about their personage and don't require a lot of attention.  Some lanes are nearly hidden from passersby. Others sometimes have multiple names just to confuse firemen and tourist alike.  Carsten Lane has been known as Carson Lane, Carsten Lane, and Carstens Lane. It historically had signs at opposite ends of the one block long lane that zigs and zags between William Street to Margaret Street to the east.  The old Harris School is located to the north and the ever so charming Carey Lane is to the rear. Carsten Lane is home to some of the prettiest little homes on the Island of Key West, and 822 Carsten Lane is one of the prettiest of these homes. And it is now for sale. Read on, Dear Readers.

Just listed, but not by me, 822 Carsten Lane in the Old Town area of Key West. This house is close to nearly everything you would want but tucked away on a very slow lane.The listing Realtor describes this property as an
"Elegant renovation of a gorgeous historic home on a quiet lane in the heart of Old Town Key West. Hardwood floors, custom designer kitchen with Bosch & Miele appliances, granite countertops and designer finishes. High ceilings, crown molding, luxurious appointments. Located near Solares Hill in highly desirable neighborhood of multi-million dollar homes. Large tropical yard with pool and covered 272 square foot outdoor living room create an oasis of privacy and luxury to enjoy our tropical breezes. Off-street parking, walk to restaurants, seaport, theater, shopping and nightlife. A Tranquil Oasis For Luxury Island Living"
Before writing today's blog I looked at the old Sanborn Maps and found 822 Carsten Lane placed on the 1899 edition.  Except at that time the lane was named "Carson".  The now vacant Harris School was not on the map in 1899, but i did find numerous cottages located across the lane and on Margaret and Southard Streets. Later all of the old houses and cottages were razed to make way for the Harris Elementary School where generations of Key Westers were educated. I dug into the old shoe box and found the black and white a photo of 822 Carsten Lane taken in 1965.  I took a similar photo that shows the house today.  While looking in the shoe box I found photos of the sixth grade class in 1959. That's the same year I was a sixth grader in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. My class looked and dressed pretty much the same - except the boys did not wear their safety patrol belts in class. I'll bet Mr. McCully served during World War II and ran the safety patrol para-military style. My sixth grade teacher, Mr. Morrison did.  I found another photo of kids playing during recess. You can nearly see Carsten Lane in the background.  When I first moved to Key West in December 1993 the Harris School Annex was used as part of the MARC House. The MARC House was the place to go buy the best Christmas trees. A few years later the annex building was razed.  The photos of the sixth graders and the razed school building make me feel my age. You see the new building was torn down because it was old and useless. I was born before that building was built. Now it's gone. How would you feel?
822 Carsten Lane in 1965
822 Carsten Lane August 2013
The Harris School Annex was built after the above photo and was razed several years ago. Carsten Lane is in background.
The Harris School Annex
This is where the Harris School Annex used to be located.
822 Carsten Lane is pretty as a picture. It is for that reason that I took a whole of photos which you can see if you CLICK HERE. Click on any photo to enlarge and start a slide show.  The photos show the house from the front entrance to the rear gate that opens onto Carey Lane. The house itself is 1412 sq ft on two levels. The main floor has been tastefully updated with a gracious great room that flows into the kitchen and out to the loggia. Two bedrooms and two baths are also located on this floor. The front bedroom would be suitable to use as a master suite should taking the stair be a chore at a later moment in life. The coffered ceiling and crisp white moldings and trim whisper "class".
The second floor can be used as either the master suite or as a secluded guest suite.  The area includes a small sitting niche, a hidden closet, a spacious bath, and lots of irregularly angled walls that give this room so much character.
822 Carsten Lane has been rented as a vacation rental. The monthly rental rates varies depending on the date and number of person occupying the home. High season runs $19,000 per month.  A potential buyer will be forced to decide between sharing this beautiful house with others or foregoing income to keep this wonderful space very private. Renting is an option, not a requirement.  CLICK HERE to view professional photos of this home.

822 Carsten Lane is offered at $1,395,000. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls data sheet and listing photos.  I have a better suggested and that is for you to call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, or send me an email at to set up a private showing of this remarkable Key West home. It will knock your socks off! I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.

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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.