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Thursday, November 5, 2015

324 Whitehead Street, Key West - Historic Truman Annex Residence

The listing Realtor, not me, describes 324 Whitehead Street in Key West this way:
"Historic Truman Annex Naval Officers home, circa 1906, featuring 5 bedrooms each with its own ensuite bathroom. Classic front double porches grace the facade of this home, one of the most grandiose in Old Town Key West. Home has been extensively restored to feature a chef's kitchen, formal sitting room, spacious dining area, media room, and guest cottage with large indoor/ outdoor living room not included in living square footage. Master suite boasts a sun-filled sitting room that serves as its entrance. Spacious guest rooms and closets throughout. Over 1000 sq. ft. covered decks and porches. Property has off-street parking via the gated access of Truman annex, yet offers an entrance off Whitehead Street for easy walking access."
One of the things I love about my job is that I get to see the interiors of some pretty incredible homes. I love to see unique cigar Cigar Maker Cottages and Eyebrow Houses. Sometimes I find a Grand Conch or Bahama House that is just "done to a T".  I am always finding some extraordinary architecture or interior design in the Casa Marina Area. The home at 324 Whitehead Street is and exquisite renovation and expansion of what was historically a Naval officer's residence. Today it is a gracious private home offered for sale at $4,495,000.
I dug into the old shoebox and found three photos that date back to the first part of the twentieth century that show 324 Whitehead Street. The first (above) is an aerial photo of  324 Whitehead Street taken in the 1920s. The entire area shown in that photo was part of the US Naval Station until the 1980s. Today much of that area is now part of the Truman Annex. Some of the buildings shown in the top of the photo have been razed and replaced by the Marriott Hotel and condominiums. The middle photo shows 324 Whitehead Street in the 1930s. The bottom photo shows the main gate to the former Naval Station which is about 100 feet north of 324 Whitehead Street. The grandeur of the gates and the facades of the houses let's us know that the military officers lived in style. Wait till you see the inside.
An iron fence and broad lawn punctuated by tall palms separates the house from Whitehead Street. The front porch sits high off the ground and gives a commanding view of the street.  The front porch is extra wide and runs the length of this huge house. Multiple sets of French doors provide alternate points of entry to the home.
Unlike modern architecture which has rooms with open spaces and sometimes undefined purposes, this grand old house has specific rooms for specific purposes. The front parlor with fireplace is separated from the formal dining room by an interior sets of petite French doors. An informal living area is located on the opposite side of the main floor front. The extra large chef's kitchen is at the right rear. 
The attached guest cottage, pictured above, was added to the north side of the home. The bedroom with en-suite bath sits just inside the covered veranda which evokes a sense of grandeur from long ago. The veranda overlooks the pool below. 
When I arrived at the second floor landing I looked directly into the sitting room off the master bedroom. I was taken aback. Wow! We just don't have spaces as grand as this in Key West. The adjacent master suite includes a fireplace and double sets of French doors that open out to the second level front porch. What a view you have from that place. Then I went back inside and entered the master bath. It is enormous. There are dual pedestal sinks on opposing walls on one side. The entire opposite wall is a custom made closet with mirrored doors that looks like it is a hundred years old. But it isn't. A center island with similar antiquing provides additional storage plus a coffee bar. There are two more bedrooms on the second floor plus a third floor bed and bath that take up the entire third floor.
Back door to the parking

324 Whitehead Street is offered for sale at $4,495,000. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and listing photos. If you are in the market for a truly grand home, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to see this one. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.


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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.