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Friday, February 7, 2014

401 South Street Key West, Florida - A Key West Treasure

"Through the crystal-clear air Lori could hear the ringing of the agent's bell...that had begun when the package had first been sighted, carefully picking it's way past the outer reefs toward the lighthouse at Whitehead's Point."          - Thelma Strabel, Reap the Wild Wind
Preferred Properties Key West just listed 401 South Street, Key West. This home sits opposite what was once called Whitehead's Point. Tourists from all over the world come here to take photos as a remembrance of the best vacation of their lives. Were you to buy this one-of-a-kind home I would suggest that you must really like people because people will stand across the street from your home every day to take photos of themselves for as long as you own the property.
But at night when the tourists have moved down to Mallory Square to view the amazing Key West sunset, you will have the view of the old Whitehead's Point to yourself.  You can watch the nightly sunset from your main level or second floor balcony with a view nobody in Key West can ever have. The balmy breezes from the Atlantic Ocean will brush the palms that flank this corner property.  At night after the tourists are gone you will hear the sound of tiny waves as they lap the coral rock where South Street and Whitehead Street meet at the place now called the Southernmost Point. This is the yin and yang of this property.  
The original house is constructed of Indian Block, a man-made material similar to modern concrete block except that Indian Block has a finished decorative carved-rock aspect. Over the years the original front porch and second floor balcony were modernized as is shown in the 1965 black and white photo.   What you may not see unless you look at all the photos with care is that 401 South Street has three bays: The front bay is obscured by the enclosed front porch. The east side bay is not visible from the street whereas the west bay is quite prominent as it can be viewed by all.
The immediately above photo shows the front bay on the main floor. The house plus the rear bungalow have been divided into three legal living units. The first floor and second floor currently used as separate apartments and are pretty much carbon copies of each other as to interior layout. The original interior staircase has been removed, but a portion of the stairs still remains. Re-installation of a staircase would be fairly simple were a new owner want to restore this home back to a single family residence.  Note the extra large crown molding that wraps the front bay. The crown molding can be found in all first floor rooms. I did not take a tape measure with me when I photographed this house. My guess is that the ceiling height on the main floor is at least ten feet tall.
The above photo was taken in the dining room on the first floor. The west bay window is seen on the extreme left. The front porch is enclosed with screen. Even the screen can't diminish the view of the ocean.
The west second floor bay shows the superior condition of the Indian block construction. The next photo shows some of the original detailed stone work that is still in excellent condition. It would be interesting to see how a current day architect might reinterpret the original porches to restore some of the historic appeal of the house while retaining privacy for a new owner.
The views from the second floor deck are pretty impressive.  Imagine sipping your morning coffee from the second floor balcony before the tourists arrive.

A simple bungalow is located at the back far east side of the lot. This space is a basic Old Florida bungalow with grassy yard, palm trees, and louvers that keep the sun and rain out but that allow air and sunlight in.  Ralph Lauren would have a field day decorating this little gem. The bungalow would make the perfect guest cottage. There is plenty of room for a pool and still retain off street parking for two cars.

The main house and bungalow total 2845 sq ft of interior living space. The lot is 76' wide and 100' deep. There is room to expand the main house and bungalow. I took more photos and share historic photos I found which you may view if you CLICK HERE. 401 South Street is offered for sale by Preferred Properties Key West at $1,600,000.

CLICK HERE to view the mls datasheet on this Key West Treasure. Better than looking at photos or reading a blog, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or send me an email at to arrange a private showing of this special home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.  (Buyers must be pre-qualified to view this home.)

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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.