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Sunday, March 18, 2018

412 Grinnell Street, Key West - Historic Eyebrow House Now Offered For Sale

Just Listed 412 Grinnell Street in Key West. I fell in love with this house the first time I stepped inside nearly two decades ago. I believe this was the first eyebrow house I got to see from the inside. The house was deliciously enchanting. That owner (Richard Sheldon) had renovated the  original house, built a new living room and kitchen addition, and added a pool. The home has changed ownership three times since then. The current owners purchased the house through me in 2012 and undertook a thorough renovation and small expansion of the property for which they were awarded the 2015 Historic Florida Keys Ceramic Star for excellence for preservation, restoration, rehabilitation and new construction. Now 412 Grinnell Street is offered for sale. The current owners feel the need to be near their toddler granddaughter and her soon to be sibling and for this reason this home is now offered for sale. 
Eyebrow houses are particularly unique to Key West. They are two story homes which vary in height, width, and size. These houses get the name "eyebrow" because the second floor windows are sheltered by the front roof eave which extends out over the house and supported by columns or posts.  Before electric fans and later air conditioning, shade and natural air flow cooled homes. The windows of an eyebrow house can be left open during rain storms which allows air to flow to cool the rooms.  412 Grinnell Street is one of the larger such homes on the island.
This home was built in the 1880s. It looks so cute and sweet from the outside. Then when you step inside you know the place is going to be even better than you imagined. Your eyes are immediately drawn past the entry hall and through the living room out to the pool. And what pool it is - a 30' X 10' pool and  a 6' X 6' spa. The rear side has a tall privacy fence with native trees and tropical foliage that has grown to adult height.  Later you will learn there are no neighbors to the immediate rear which is Fletchers Lane - a walking lane accessed off Eaton Street, about 100 feet to the north.
The owners did a bundle of projects during the renovation including replacing the metal roof; replacing piers where required; and installing heart pine floors (aged 200 to 500 years) which look absolutely perfect. All floors on both levels are flat and flawless. All of the HVAC is new.  The owner updated all of the interior spaces, renovated all bathrooms, added wind impact resistant windows and doors where permissible. Every town has a go-to local custom cabinet maker. Hansen & Bringle is that company in Key West. They installed new custom cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms and wainscoting in living and dining rooms.
The kitchen, while relatively recently new, was still renovated. An all too large bank of windows was removed and replaced with a single new window which permitted the installation of upper cabinets. The laundry closet became a pantry and the washer and dryer were placed under the kitchen peninsula. New SubZero, Wolf, and Miele appliances were added as were new granite counter-tops. One of the best features is the kitchen door which opens out to a little porch where there is an herb garden. The porch leads down to the brick paved driveway with electrically opening gate.
The owners took down the original guest cottage and built an entirely new 23' X 12' guest house. It is located in a separate building just off the covered rear deck. That deck will probably be the most used space in the house besides the bedroom. The guest cottage has a cathedral ceiling punctuated by a round impact glass window near the top of the gable, natural travertine marble floors, and a wet bar with under counter refrigerator. It has a full bath. This cottage and bath mean the entire home has four or five bedrooms (explained below) each with bath. The owner thinks the guest cottage could be used as a master suite.
The guest cottage is located next to the pool which has a gate that opens out to Fletchers Lane. Guests can return from a night out in Key West without disturbing the folks in the main house. The newly resurfaced and revamped pool includes a salt water filtration system, LED light show, and remote control programing. Travertine marble coping surrounds the pool and spa. All new Azec decks were installed including the covered rear lanai. The gardens were replanted with native foliage. The owners added an irrigation system to supplement Mother Nature.
Depending on your need, the main house has either four bedrooms and four baths or three bedrooms and a study.  The study or fourth bedroom is located at the right front of the home. It has two stained glass doors and panels. Everybody who sees it goes "Ooh and Aah". This space would inspire any would-be writer, artist, or thinker of great thoughts, or a grandmother who knits booties (do they still do that?) or a grandfather who smokes a pipe (do they still do that, either?). The room has a half bath that is illuminated by a Swarovski  crystal chandelier. The owners had a new stained glass window made with the house numerals which was place in the transom over the front door. The ceramic star is placed above the transom. Passersby at night admire the colors emanating from this room.
The owners use the main floor bedroom as their master. It is located at the front of the house opposite the study/bedroom. About half of the main floor Dade County Pine walls are natural and the remaining walls are painted. The master bedroom has Dade Pine and has a fairly good sized en-suite bath with large shower complete a marine porthole where you can look out to see tropical foliage and that can be opened for ventilation. I guarantee you will have a smile on your face every day if you use this shower and that's not a bad way to start your day any day.
There are two more bedrooms on the second floor. Notice the windows near floor level and look out to the street. You will then understand the eyebrow concept. The heart pine floors are gorgeous. Each bedroom has a brand new en-suite bath with shower. The rooms are not big, nor are they small. They are how people lived one hundred twenty five years ago except these rooms are air conditioned, have electricity, and have bathrooms.

CLICK HERE for a 3D Tour of the Main House and CLICK HERE for a 3D Tour of the Guest Cottage.

The owner traced the history of this home back to the beginning of the island. Every detail of  this old house has been committed to writing and detailed so that future generations may share in the history of this home. I think any potential buyer will appreciate the care that has been given not only to the preservation of the structure but also of the history of the house which the owners call "La Casa Ceja", The Eyebrow House. CLICK HERE to view an album of photos of this beautiful Old Town treasure that has been carefully and thoughtfully restored and made better than ever before. You won't have to do a thing except enjoy your home and make reservations for dinner.
CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet on 412 Grinnell Street offered at $1,999,000. The please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to schedule a private showing. I am the listing agent on this very special property. You won't find anything comparable at this price. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.


Anonymous said...

Super. Nice. Home.

Gary Thomas said...

Yes it is.

Anonymous said...

This home is so beautiful. I read your blog and know I can trust that the homes are what you say. Thank you.


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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.