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Thursday, October 10, 2013

1020 Grinnell Street - An Affordable and Adorable Conch Cottage - Key West


Just listed by Preferred Properties Key West, that's where I work but this is not my listing, 1020 Grinnell Street in the Old Town North of Truman Area of  Key West.  Bargain hunters and serious buyers better act quickly to snag this terrific cottage home, offered at $499,000, because it will sell quickly. (The last time this house was on the market was 2003 when  it sold in just three days.)  CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet and listing photos.  
The listing Realtor describes this home this way:
"This ADORABLE Conch Cottage with two bedrooms and a bath includes high cathedral ceilings and personifies the vision of owning a cottage in Key West. The home boasts a lovely front porch where you can cozy up with a cup of coffee in the morning and end your day in the fenced in privacy of your quaint backyard, relaxing in the dipping pool to unwind. Other highlights include hardwood floors throughout, corian counters, plenty of kitchen cabinets and two loft spaces. The back yard features low maintenance decking, a dipping pool, and storage shed. Come to 1020 Grinnell Street and find your little piece of paradise in Key West."
I searched the Sanborn Fire Maps and found this house was first shown on the 1899 map.  That means the house was built that year or some time prior to then.  The Monroe County Property Appraiser shows construction date as 1938. We know that date is not correct because Key west was in the midst of the Great Depression. The public records were destroyed in the great fire of 1896 and were reconstructed by workers from the WPA during the Great Depression. The WPA created dates that did not necessarily have any relation to reality.  Irregardless, it is interesting to have a closer approximation as to when any Key West property was actually constructed.  I found a black and white photo of this home taken in 1965. Compare the way it looked nearly half a century ago with the way it looks in 2013.  In my opinion, it looks better now than before. Note also the front door has been relocated from the right to the left side of the house. That is just the beginning of changes made to this old house.

I did some further searching and found the really old photo below that shows the historic Key West Fire House that is located two doors to the south.  If you look carefully you will see 1020 Grinnell Street at the far right of the photo.
circa 1914
If you have been a reader of my blog you may recall that the old firehouse at 1026 Grinnell Street is now a museum.  If you buy 1020 Grinnell Street you won't need to fear being awakened by fire bells and sirens. You should be comforted to know that this location is valued by generations of Conchs - locals who grew up in this neighborhood and whose family members served in the fire department. The last photo above shows folk art created by local artist Ronny Bailey to commemorate the old fire station.

While 1020 Grinnell Street looks like a typical cigar maker cottages on the outside, it is not typical on the inside. The relocated front door opens into an expansive living area that runs almost the length of the house. The living room has a vaulted ceiling. Crisp white interior walls and ceiling are juxtaposed against the rich dark real wood floor that give this space real character. Separate ladders lead to little lofts located at either end of the living space. The rear loft (shown below) is the guest sleeping area.  The sense of height and volume in this space is quite dramatic without being pretentious.
A galley kitchen provides lots of storage space with the contemporary cabinets that rise to the ceiling.  It is amazing how much storage and work space this kitchen has to offer.  The door at the rear leads to the rear deck and pool. There is a subtle blend of old and contemporary architectural features throughout this house.
This house has two bedrooms but three sleeping areas.  Remember I mentioned the front entry door was relocated to the left. The original entry hall that ran from the front door to the rear of the house has been re-purposed. The front portion is now a small bedroom with space suitable for a single bed. Or maybe the space could be used as an office. Or maybe both. The loft space at the rear will accommodate a full or queen size mattress. The rear wall is a series of glass panels that permit daytime light to partially illuminate the loft space. The loft will work for a younger crowd and friends and relatives who don't plan to stay too long.
The master bedroom is located at the rear on the main level.  The bedroom is quite spacious.  It has immediate access to the adjacent bath which has a second door for entry off the living room. A set of French doors open out to the rear deck and pool. The walls are Dade County Pine that have been painted a soft pastel green. The crown molding, baseboard, and trim are all painted white. The rich dark floors add punch to make this room so satisfying to the eye.
Old sheds at the rear of the property were given new life. One  shed that now houses the pool equipment looks like a tiny cottage. Another serves as the laundry room.  The deck is quite spacious and should provide good sunning opportunities throughout the year. The pool isn't big, but this house is not made for someone with a huge ego.
CLICK HERE to view all of the photos I took of this really interesting home.  The house is located just a couple of doors north of the old Key West fire department that is now a museum.  Most of the Old Town area gyms and yoga studios are within a brief walk from this location. Fausto's Food Palace is located three blocks to the east. Bayview Park is one block further to the east. Duval Street is about a five minute walk to the west.  I think this charming cottage would make a great second home or even a primary residence for an owner seeking a small home with space for an occasional guest.

If you would like to see 1020 Grinnell Street before someone snaps it up, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. 

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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.