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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

923 Eaton Street - Key West - Back on the Market


If you are a frequent visitor to Key West, you have surely driven or walked by 921 and 923 Eaton Street,  the two side-by-side gems that rival the famous "Painted Ladies" of San Francisco. Although not as elaborate, the Key West Ladies speak to the simplicity of design that characterize many of the houses in the Old Town area.  In his book The Houses of Key West Alex Caemmerer wrote "What particularly impressed me at that time, although many of these houses were small and owned by people of modest means - mostly local workers, they had a simplicity of line and an aura aura of elegance and dignity which had the same effect on one as does, for instance, a simple Bach tune."

Now you may think my comparison of the Painted Ladies in San Francisco to the more modest Key West Ladies is a stretch. You might be correct but consider that Alex Caemmerer selected the modest house at 921 Eaton Street as the cover photo for his book about Key West houses.

921 Eaton Street as photographed in 1965
923 Eaton St as photographed in 1965
Who would have thought that these two simple little houses owned by locals of modest means would become iconic representations of Key West architecture. But that is what they did. Now, the sad fact is that between the time Alex Caemmerer immortalized 921 Eaton Street and the recent Recession, the two ladies fell into disrepair as both properties were foreclosed upon. You can see that the new owner of 921 Eaton Street has started a restoration of that residence. 923 Eaton Street went under contract soon after it was listed for sale in October. It went back on the market today at the asking price of $498,400.  The listing agent describes the property this way:
"The perfect Christmas present, historical charmer so close to the Seaport and Key West's shopping and restaurants. Once you walk into this home you will be delightfully surprised by the large open living areas, high ceilings,huge back yard and endless possibilities. Perfectly livable home is ready for you now, or your upgrades to make this a gem sparkle and shine! Rare, huge,fenced, back yard complete with brick pavers, allows for expansion of existing home AND pool AND pool/guest house. Dade county pine galore and beautiful new hard wood floor in the spacious living room, front porch, upgraded baths and kitchen, separate indoor laundry room. Bring your best offer as this one won't last at this price!"
 
The Monroe County Property Records date the construction of both 921 and 923 Eaton Street at 1906. I experienced frustration today trying to access the historic Sanborn Fire Maps for Key West and was unable to enlarge a particular file which show 923 Eaton being in place in 1889.  I saw a house at that location for that date, but I was unable to decide with reasonable certainty that it is the same house. But I am pretty sure it is.  This little area is located near the Historic Key West Seaport which is located just two blocks to the north.  Many of the old homes in Key West are located in this area because the earliest residents of Key West lived here near their work - the seaport.
No matter the exact date it was built, the fact is the 923 Eaton Street has the earmarks of a really old house and includes lots of Dade County Pine walls, ceiling, floors, traditional windows, scuttles on the second floor roof, etc. The house was updated around 1988 from what I can determine in the Property Records.  It looks to me like the an interior wall or walls in the front part of the house were removed to create the current living room.  A new addition was added to the rear where the kitchen was updated, a bath and laundry added, and a large combination dining/family room with modern sliding doors were added. The back yard was bricked-in and some landscaping was added. A bathroom was added to the second floor as well. I assume all renovations were done at the same time. What was in style 25 years ago now looks tired and needs updated or maybe replaced.
The constant feature of this property is the historic character of the original house and the very large (deep) back yard where there is room for a large pool or maybe a smaller pool a a guest cottage.  CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet on this property. 
Key West is packed to the brim with Christmas visitors. Somebody very well may this place this weekend.  Do pass up this second chance to get a cute little Key West house with room for a pool. If you would like to see 923 Eaton Street please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise. 



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd like to take a peek at that inspection report. Might speak to why the property is available again.

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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.