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Thursday, July 25, 2019

624 White Street, Key West - Touched by History

The former home of Pulitzer Prize poet Elizabeth Bishop located at 624 White Street in Old Town Key West is now offered for sale for the first time since it was purchased from Ms. Bishop in 1946.  According to the listing Realtor, not me, the house has been kept it basically the same condition since it was purchased.
“It is very nice here; I wish so much that you and your mother could come here sometime, I am so sure you would like it. The sea is so beautiful– all spotted and striped, from dark black-blue to what my aunt calls ‘lettuce’ green.”
Elizabeth Bishop discovered Key West in the 1930s while on a fishing trip. She purchased the eyebrow house at 624 White Street which she owned until 1946 when she moved to Brazil. The house was built in 1889 at the eastern edge of Old Town. Her home faced the Army Barracks and the Battleship Maine cemetery. The Armory was located about 150 feet or so to the north. I dug into my old shoebox and found an aerial photo of the area from 1940 to which I added an arrow to show her home.
 Elizabeth Bishop’s home in Key West, Florida was designated a Literary Landmark in 1993. The ceremony was conducted at the 11th Annual Key West Literary Seminar. The plaque was unveiled by Pulitzer prize-winning poet, and close friend of Bishop, James Merrill.
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." I have blogged about many of the eyebrow homes in Key West. I have learned that no two are the same design and construction.  According to the Monroe County Property Appraiser this home has 1336 sq ft of interior living space plus porches. The home has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The interiors feature Dade County Pine wood walls, ceiling, and floors.
The "modern" kitchen is located in an addition at the rear of the house and was added subsequent to Bishop's departure. 
I am always amazed at house new renovations treat the second floor bedrooms to create function sleeping spaces and add or update existing bathrooms. The roof lines must be preserved to maintain the architectural integrity of the original home.
The 6,030 square foot lot measures 67' X 90'. There is more than adequate room in the rear for a large pool plus updating of the rear porch into interior living space and perhaps the addition of a new porch or deck at the rear.
 CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet on 624 White Street, Key West offered for sale at $1,200,000. 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. This is exactly the kind of property buyers interested in renovation project are interested in.  It will probably go under contract in a matter of days.


Gary Thomas said...

I was sort of surprised to see that this property went under contract late Thursday afternoon. Another agent in my office told me there are a lot of buyers in town - that or that they are waiting for the right property to hit the market.

Anonymous said...

I’m not surprised at all because that house has everything one would want in Old Town. First, it is a historic property with tons of curb appeal, a huge front yard, tons of room for off street parking, great street presence, and room for a large pool, jacuzzi/spa and probably even a lanai sitting area. Some may prefer not to be on White Street versus a cross street but it is pretty quiet over there and there is a lot of upside being so close to the port. I hope whoever bought the property keeps the historic charm and builds the house of their dreams.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day it's still White Street. People don't spend top dollar and settle for White Street.

Anonymous said...

Evidentially they do now, assuming the deal actually goes through to closure. However, your point is very well taken.

Anonymous said...

624 White Street Key West- "Touched by Traffic"


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