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Saturday, February 18, 2017

1403 Pine Street, Key West

Just Listed 1403 Pine Street located in the quiet Meadows Area of Key West. I saw the interior of this home around sunset yesterday afternoon. The sun was about to set over at Mallory Square with hundreds of on-lookers snapping photos. A potential buyer, the listing agent, and I were the only people on this block. It was so quiet you could hear nothing. And that is part of the charm of this neighborhood which is close to all of Old Town but just far enough away.

The listing Realtor, not me, describes the home this way:
"This turn of the century classic conch home has an expansive covered front porch, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, large living and dining room, den, and updated kitchen. There is a separate 2 story 1 bedroom apartment complete with kitchen, bath, and covered porch. The property is fenced with a lovely side garden and off street parking is available. The home is in good condition."

The view from the front porch is a bit obscured by the tropical foliage at the front. The seating area peers out to quiet Pine Street through arches adorned with painted palms while the ceiling was painted sky blue. The arch theme continues inside the home where a second arch separates the living room from the dining area. Two bedrooms are located to the right of the dining area separated by two bathrooms in the middle. The listing Realtor believes there is Dade County Pine under the current wall surfaces.  I am often an advocate for renovation. This place looks just fine as is.
The updated kitchen and informal dining area is located at the rear where a side door opens out to courtyard. A small potting area is located on one side of the semi-enclosed laundry area. 
The adjacent guest cottage ought to be featured on HGTV's Tiny House. It is so cute. The main entry is on ground level where the living room is located followed by dining area and kitchen. An interior stairway leads up to the bedroom and bathroom. There is a covered front porch located off the bedroom which looks down to the garden where there is an old rock fountain complete with water trail. The above photo shows the double gate where a new owner could  use this space for off street parking. I think there may be room for a pool. There are lots of rules that deal with land use, setbacks, etcetera. So what I think is of no consequence. CLICK HERE to view more photos I took of this property.
I looked through my old shoebox and found two photos which referenced 1403 Pine Street. The first and most obvious was the black and white photo below taken in 1965. It shows the main house in front together with the two story cottage at the rear. I also found a copy of the waterfront pass of Robert Pritchard who lived at 1403  Pine Street in 1918. Young Pritchard's family owned the Pritchard Funeral Parlor located nearby at 828 White Street. (That building was converted into condominiums a few years ago. See the historic photo below.) The waterfront pass was issued to locals who worked at the Key West waterfront during wartime. "This is a collection of nearly 600 military passes issued to civilian workers in Key West during WWI. Fields on the passes include name, occupation, nationality, employer. They should be useful for genealogists and historical researchers of all disciplines." This collection was created by Tom Hambright of the Monroe County Library with additional help from Anne Layton Rice. My guess is that Robert Pritchard was probably born around 1900. His pass identified him as a Western Union Telegraph messenger. I found reference to what I believe to be his death in Key West in 1922.

Literary giant John Dos Passos used to live next door at 1401 Pine Street. According to the Key West Literary Seminar "John Dos Passos, author of the U.S.A. trilogy and many other works, first visited Key West in the 1920s and told his friend Ernest Hemingway about the place. During the winter of 1934, Dos Passos and his wife lived in this house at 1401 Pine St., then the outskirts of town." Author J. Willis Burke reports in The Streets of Key West "No doubt, John dos Passos, who lived at 1401 Pine during the 1930s, made the fifteen minute walk (to downtown Key West) often. After one nocturnal amble, he arrived at Hemingway's house and met his future wife, Kate, for the first time. Perhaps it was kismet: "Dos" had, after all, been the one to suggest to "ole Hem" give Key West a try if he was looking for a warm place "to dry out his bones." In The Best of Times Dos Passos wrote "I've forgotten whether I first told Hem about Key West or whether he found out on his own. Dos Passos refers to Key West as dreamlike and "in those days Key West really was an island...It was like no other place in the world."
Hem and Dos
The point of my little little literary diversion is to assure readers Key West was and still is a place of mystical proportions. The island really was and still is an island out in the middle of the ocean as I like to describe it.  You don't just decide to stop by. It takes effort and time to get here. But once you are here, you begin to decompress from what is going on out there in the rest of the world. I meet a lot of potential buyers from all over the place. Some ask me what I do when I am not selling houses. I reply "nothing" which astonishes most. To me being in Key West is enough. It is an end. Others might look at it as a beginning. I did when I moved here. But I am satisfied with the island and myself just as we are. 

CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet on 1403 Pine Street, Key West which is offered at $890,000. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to schedule a private showing of this delightful home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

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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.