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Thursday, May 21, 2015

1104 South Street, Key West, Florida


One of the joys of living in the Casa Marina Area of Key West is driving home down uncontested streets lined with giant palm trees and mahogany trees.  I often see locals walking their dogs or tourists on bikes touring the area pointing out houses that they wish they someday could call home. Some of the houses sit back from the street behind expansive lawns while others are hidden behind six foot tall privacy walls. There are a smattering of 1960 vintage CBS houses left that have not been touched. While Casa Marina Court, Johnson Street, and Flagler Avenue have curbs and gutters, the rest of the area retains its original almost rural charm where yards and driveways extend out to the street. The architecture varies throughout the area and ranges from Grand Conch houses to mid-century modern to avant garde 21st Century.
Each block in the Casa Marina area is different - there's nothing cookie cutter about this part of town. The new listing at 1104 South Street was designed and built in 1999 by Kum Kee Fu an international architect who built three homes in Key West. This home sits adjacent to 1100 South Street, the bungalow Ernest Hemingway lived when he completed A Farewell to Arms. The two houses could not be any more different in style or construction. Both have merit in their own right. A prior owner added a brick veneer that now covers the original wood on the Hemingway bungalow. 1104 South Street by contrast is recent construction with a contemporary style. You can't tell exactly what is there, however, because the front almost seems to be a carriage house, but you intuitively know there is more to this place which cannot be seen from the street. It is that privacy that makes this place so precious.
Guests enter the home through double doors which lead through an outdoor hallway where water gently falls over the rocks on either side. The Trex deck foot path splits and leads either to the pool at the east or to the main entrance to the west. Take one step, turn left, and be prepared to be awed.
The living room has multiple architectural features that make this space so intriguing. They include the pyramid ceiling under which are clerestory windows over either French doors, interior passages, or windows all which add light and spatial interest to the space. The long black pool is located opposite the French doors. The deck from the front walkway turns south and flanks the living room and adjacent library and dining room both of which have French doors and clerestory windows.
 The dining area is just plain stunning.  It is so simple. It is so grand!  The cathedral ceiling mimics the style of the living room but on a much smaller scale. If you look at the reflection in the mirror above you'll see a metal spiral staircase that leads to the second floor rear guest bedroom. You'll also see that spiral staircase from the kitchen window. And what a kitchen this home has. It also simple but grand as well. Sometimes things that are understated appear much more important because they don't clamor for attention: they earn respect just by their being.
The second floor rear bedroom packs a lot of punch for a small space. You enter the space off a small balcony. Like the grand living room and smaller dining area, this room has a cathedral ceiling as well. You'll quickly notice the bath, hall closet, and a door that leads to a rear second floor balcony where you could get that all-over Key West tan in total privacy. I had not seen this space in years when I took the photos for today's blog. I was so excited about this space because it oozes charm!
The second guest bedroom is located on the main living level to the rear of the living room. The efficient room is large enough to accommodate a Stairmaster, bed, two chests with table lamps, a side chair and reading light. If it were any larger, the guests would never leave.
The biggest surprise I had when photographing this house was the renovated master bedroom. Entrance is through a pocket door just off the main entry. A staircase leads up to what was previously a guest apartment over the two garages.  The bedroom and bathroom each occupy the same amount of space. The result is two dramatic spaces.  
French doors from the bedroom and bathroom open out to separate balconies.  The bathroom has a separate W/C and shower. There's room for a coffee bar which is something I'd probably add. CLICK HERE to view more photos I took of this wonderful home.
The house has 2412 sq ft of living space. The lot is 44' wide by 112' deep or 4974.66 sq ft in area. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet for 1104 South Street which is offered at $2,145,000. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule an appointment to see this special Key West home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. You just may fall for this house. I'm sure you'll fall for the Casa Marina Area.  


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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.