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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

227 Julia Street, Key West, Florida


Just Listed, but not by me, 227 Julia Street, Key West. I had driven past this house before and actually parked next door to it a few times over the years  I assumed it was a very nice renovation of one of the original cottages that still exist in the area which is located about three blocks west of Duval Street and two blocks south of Truman Avenue. The original home first appeared on the 1892 Historic Sanborn Fire Map when it was then numbered 231 Julia Street. The street number changed to 227 Julia St when 1899 map was published.  The map maker identifies the change in number by placing the house number in parenthesis below the then current house number. This helps future searches to keep track of the changes in identifying the property in a time before computers and too much information.
The old map showed Julia Street being  located two blocks to the south of Division Street which is now known as Truman Avenue.  During my research about the Division Street name change I came across the "Autobiography of Stephen Moreno Whalton".  Whalton was born in 1872 and grew up just a few paces off Division Street which he said was previously known as Rocky Road. Mr. Whalton* further wrote:
"Another event in my life that I have never forgotten happened when I was about seven years old, at that time there were a very few houses on the Southeast side of our Truman Avenue, most of that part of the Island was a wilderness, my grandfather and my father raised quite a number of horses in the woods of Key West, and my grandfather gave me a horse and my father had him broken to harness and saddle, this was a stallion, and somewhat mean. The only time that I was put on his back, was on a Sunday morning, when one of my father’s hired men put me on him without a saddle, as soon as he got out of the yard, he started to run, and I was too small to stop him, there was a man coming up the street who stood with his arms open,but when my horse got near this man, he made a quick turn to go by him, and landed me on a flint rock, I recovered from that accident in about six weeks, but I never had a chance to get even with that horse, as my father sold him before I became old enough to handle him. This was the end of the events of my early childhood, which have remained fresh in my memory down through the years, due of course, to the fact, that they made a great impression on my mind at the time of happening."
Imagine a horse running wild down a dirt road and across the fields and "forest" of Key West. What a sight that must have been.  Today this same area is midpoint between all the tourist activity on upper Duval Street and the new Truman Waterfront Park which will link the entire waterfront area from Ft Zachary Taylor Beach and State Park to the Historic Seaport at the eastern edge of Old Town. 
The listing agent asked me if I would like to blog about the new listing. I did my research before I went there thinking that the house was a renovation of the old cottage. I dug into my old shoebox and found a taken of the original house located here in 1965. The house sat on the west one-half of the lot which measure 26' X 45.8' which explains the vacant space to the right.  In examining the Monroe County Property Appraiser records I learned the old house was razed and was replaced by the new 1270 sq ft house which was built all new in 2004. That explains why the current house and the two story addition at the rear looks so sharp. Wait till you see what is on the inside.
The dual front gates at the front retract to provide off-street parking, however, there isn't really that much need for that at the present time. Most of the homes in this area are single family homes. I do know that there has been an increase of vacation rentals in this area. In fact, this home has a good history of use as a monthly vacation rental. When you look at the rest of the photos, you will quickly see why people book this place.
Two sets of bi-fold doors close off the living room to create a second bedroom which has a custom Murphy bed surrounded by additional bookcases and three window seats. The library ladder provides access to an additional small sleeping area located over the bookcase. There is a full guest bath tucked in the corner. The front porch is more for show than actual use as an entry, but it sure "shows" well.
 The stairway is a work of art. I had to stop and take a look at how much detail the owner put into something so many others would might just put in a door to create some storage. Consider all of the design elements fit into the seven feet of or so of floor space. Of course there is the door for storage plus the shelves for displaying pottery, the wainscoting that wraps its way up the stairs to the master bedroom. There is abundant recessed light throughout the house which diminishes the need for table lamps.  Real wood floors give this new house a genuine old house feel. All too often new homes have ceramic or porcelain floors that trick the eye into seeing wood when the material used is not. The black iron hardware add a pop of color everywhere they are located. CLICK HERE to view more photos I took of this home.
The slanted roof gives the master bedroom and bath a genuine old house feel. Wainscoting wraps this room as well.  A chair rail seems to continue to wrap the bathroom where the wood wainscoting leaves off. Wherever you look, there is attention to detail. This home has an abundance of small things that add up to become so much! 
CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet on 227 Julia Street offered at $715,000. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to schedule a private showing. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

*CLICK HERE to read the  "Autobiography of Stephen Moreno Whalton". It's great reading if you love Key West. I promise.

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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.