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Saturday, October 8, 2016

845 Galveston Lane, Key West - Elegant Eyebrow Renovation

One Sunday morning in March of this year I was out taking photos of various renovation projects in Key West when I saw another large house being built a half a block away. This startled me because the house I was photographing at 723 Olivia Street is located on a one-way street. I had not seen any other construction on my way to the Olivia house. I walked back down Olivia to Galveston Lane, looked north, and saw huge old eyebrow house which was already well underway.
I immediately decided I would return to 845 Galveston Lane again and again and again to photograph the remaking of this old house. The three above photos told me a lot about this house even before I went in search of more info. First and foremost is that this home is an "eyebrow" house which is unique to Key West.
In his book The Houses of Key West  Alex Cammerer wrote about his first visit to Key West which turned into a love affair with the architecture of Old Town. He referred to eyebrow houses simply stating "with their front porch roofs extending demurely over the second-story windows, hence the term eyebrows. I have discovered that they are unique to Key West and are not found anywhere else in the country."
Cammerer then compared the eyebrow style to a salt box laid on its side with the roof line extended downwards to rest upon columns which creates a permanent awning that spans the entire width of the house sheltering the second floor windows from light, rain, and wind. Back in real old days  - the time before air conditioning and even before electricity - houses were cooled naturally using window placement for cross ventilation, shutters, awnings, scuttles, and trees. The eyebrow house provided a different manner to provide air circulation. And it did so with great style.
As I walked eastward on Olivia Street I noticed new construction at the rear of 845 Galveston Lane. Well, I saw it earlier but now I had a better view. A single story addition and pool were being added to the rear. The lot is quite large for Old Town - 50 foot by 100 foot deep or 5,000 square feet. I have never done a survey of lot sizes but know from experience the majority of lots are 2,500 square feet. That small size restricts so much of what a homeowner can do as a matter of right. Having trees and other buildings can restrict renovations even more. So the allure of this lot with expansion potential made it very desirable. Since the house is tucked away and off the beaten path, the location provides privacy many buyers covet. If you are really reading this blog and really looking at the photos you will have noticed the house next door to the north is a mobile home. That is not a construction trailer. That is an actual real life living space. There used to be more mobile homes in this area. This is the only current mobile home of which I am aware. At some time in the future it will go away. But until then the mobile home is part of the charm of this area.
During the course of a few months the original coral rock piers were replaced as were the columns, windows, siding, and roof. The old house almost started to look new.
845 Galveston Lane was co-listed for sale on June 29th for $2,400,000 by Roger Emmons (Truman & Company) and Doug Mayberry (Doug Mayberry Real Estate). It went under contract in a matter of days and closed on September 30th at $2,300,000. Selling agent was Jennifer Newman of Truman & Company. The listing agents described the property this way:
"Located on a secluded lane in the heart of Old Town, total renovation of an eyebrow home by renowned architect, Michael Ingram, features luxury finishes throughout, 28 x 10 foot swim-out pool and 3 off-street parking spaces. There are 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths on the first floor and a grand master suite on the second floor with rooftop overlook and separate study. The doors and windows are impact rated and insulated. Floors are 8-inch-wide end matched hickory. Moldings are custom milled with 7.5 inch baseboards. The kitchen counters are Carrara marble and quartz with butcher block work surface, and there is a Viking refrigerator and 5 burner Jenn Air gas cooktop. The baths are Carrara marble floors and walls with Verde marble accents and the master has a Jacuzzi soaking tub."
Please CLICK HERE to view all the photos I took and couple of historic photos of this and others homes on Galveston Lane. If you are thinking of buying a home in Key West and are not working with a Realtor, please consider calling 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 (or create) your home in Paradise. 

1 comment:

FloridaAG said...

Walked by yesterday, beautiful house. Had not paid much attention to the progress over the last 6 weeks or so and was shocked at final product and that it was completed.

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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.