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Friday, March 24, 2017

912 White Street, Key West


In 1886 an entire village for cigar makers was developed in one corner of Old Town Key West. The Pohalski and Co. cigar factory was located at the corner of White and Truman. Cottages lined the nearby streets and lanes as was typical of the other parts of town where other cigar factories were located.  The cigar maker cottages were simple in design and construction and provided basic shelter to factory workers. In his book The Streets of Key West, J. Willis Burke writes about Pohalski Village: "On the other side, off the western [should be eastern] side of the cemetery are Havana Street and Pohalski Avenue, byways that echo the area's once thriving cigar-making industry.... In the late 1880s, cigar magnate Pincus Pohalski, a transplant from Texas built a factory and then established an entire village within this block."  Smaller lanes in the village include Gerome Avenue which is a City of Key West walking lane about eight feet wide and nearby Nichols Avenue which is only about ten feet wide and runs perpendicular to Pohalski Lane  the rear through street west of White Street. Division Street at the south is now known as Truman Avenue. Olivia Street is the terminus one block north of White. At the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th the people who lived in these homes probably did not have horses let alone cars.  The houses were jumbled together on small lots accessed via small lanes called Avenues.

 I looked through the old shoebox and found a couple of photos of the block which show the factory and workers, the same corner during a Mother's Day Parade in 1928, the razing of the Standard Oil Gas Station in 1964. Today a Chrevon Gas Station is located in the same spot. Little Nichols Avenue is located just behind the Chevron Station. Pholhaski Lane is located adjacent to the gas station. A group of former cigar cottages on Olivia Street are now combined into the Lionsgate Condominiums.

912 White Street is a remnant of the former Pohalski village which has been renovated and expanded.  The black and white photo above was taken in 1965. The color photo is very recent and shows the recent addition where the master bedroom and bath are now located. 

The listing Realtor describes the modern day 912 White Street this way:
"Citrus Cottage - your perfectly renovated and beautifully furnished Key West Getaway boasts a large upstairs Master suite and 2 bedrooms down with a Jack and Jill bath between. A new kitchen and the living area open to the deck and heated pool. Also a small shed with a half-bath and outdoor shower."
Substantial renovations were done to this 1371 sq ft house in 2007. There is a bedroom and bath at the front of the house on the main floor and another on the second floor. French doors open out from the living area onto the rear deck. There is a small cottage located at the far end of the pool.
There is a little sitting area off the top of the stairs adjacent to the master bedroom and bath. There are two guest bedrooms and two bathrooms on the first floor. The baths share the shower located in the middle.

The little cottage at the rear is not being used at the current time. There is a half bath and there is an outdoor shower so I suppose one might use the space for the teen who demands his or her privacy or maybe as a writer's cottage.
The view from the front porch is awfully sweet. Actress Kelly McGillis and her former husband used to live directly across the street. While this little piece of old Key West is no longer referred to as Pohalski Village, it is still a neighborhood of many small homes like this some of which are full time residences and others which are part time homes. 

CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to schedule a private showing of this not so little three bedroom cottage with a pool in Old Town Key West offered at $876,000. 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.