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Key West


American luxury estates

J

ust the words “Key West” are enough to create a sensation of total relaxation . . . soft cooling breezes, luscious sunlight on sparkling clear blue waters, incredible coral reefs, sailboats on the horizon, seven-toed cats . . . And the best part? It’s all true! One of the last islands in the long chain of Florida’s floating paradises, Key West is Caribbean in ambiance, and no wonder. Its miles of sandy shores are built from sand shipped in on barges from the Caribbean! World-class fishing and diving are complimented by the world’s third largest coral reef — some 160 miles long — off the beautiful shores of the nation’s most southernmost city. Key West is closer to Cuba than it is to Miami! So many endangered birds can be found here, the whole island has been officially declared a bird sanctuary. It’s also home to three Civil War forts.

Key West Written by B. B. Smith

Conchs like to tell visitors that happy hour in Key West begins at 9 a.m. Probably true since Key West has more bars per capita than any other place in the country. Lest that rocks your boat, know too more churches too per capita are found here than any other place in the country. “Conchs” are Key West residents. (Note: it’s “in” Key West. Not “on” Key West.) “Saltwater Conchs” were born in Key West. “Freshwater Conchs” are longtime-but-nonnative residents. Originally a “Conch” was a European- ancestry immigrant from the Bahamas. When a baby was born, these folks traditionally put a conch shell on a pole in front of their houses. And those seven-toed “polydactyl” cats? They’re descendents of the 40 famous cats living (and well protected) at the (Ernest) Hemmingway House. Some have six toes. It’s said here is where Hemmingway wrote (or worked on) “A Farewell to Arms,” “Death in the Afternoon,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” and “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.” Depression-era Key West is the setting for “To Have and Have Not.” Fellow author Tennessee Williams started “A Streetcar Named Desire” here and his “The Rose Tattoo” film version was shot here. Key West’s magnificent scenery lured many movie film crews to the island to shoot, among others, “Operation Petticoat,“ “The Rose Tattoo, “ “Reap the Wild Wind,“ “PT 109,“ “Beneath the 12 Mile Reef,“ “License to Kill“ and “Running Scared. A major destination for cruise ships and an important Naval training site, Key West served as President Harry S. Truman’s “Winter White House.”

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Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter also spent time there. The original name, still heard today, was Cayo Hueso, pronounced “kajo weso” or “bone key.” For decades the island was used as a graveyard; bones could be found everywhere. History is vague, but island ownership changed hands many times, then became part of the United States. It has long been known as the “Gibraltar of the West” (because of its strategic location on the Straits of Florida, a deep shipping lane between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. At one point Key West even briefly declared its independence as the Conch Republic, after a U.S. Border Patrol blockade to search for illegal immigrants created monster traffic jams and seriously impaired Key West’s lucrative tourist trade. The independent spell didn’t last long, but “Conch Republic” can still be found immortalized on souvenirs. A Conch Republic Independence Celebration is celebrated annually on April 23. The City of Key West’s four main founding fathers — John Simonton, Pardon C. Greene, John Whitehead and John W.C. Fleeming — were immortalized in naming the island’s main arteries. Duval Street was named after Florida’s first territorial governor. Key West’s incredible beauty and climate, plus its strategic (and profitable!) location have resulted in a population explosion, explains Truman & Co., Key West’s leading high-end real estate company. The continual influx of folks who can afford the very best has raised the sophistication level of all the amenities these residents demand — in education, housing, shopping, cuisine and entertainment. The climate as well as the bohemian atmosphere draws numerous artist and writers to Key West. Arts and cultural venues abound, and so do celebrities. Among those who do, or have, called Key West home are Jimmy Buffett, David Allen Coe, Stepin Fetchit, Khalil Greene, Calvin Klein, John James Audubon, Kelly McGillis and Stuart Woods (who sets many of his Stone Barrington books in this vicinity). Key West is such an unusual city, it takes an insider to know the ends and outs of finding just the right residential opportunities. Truman & Co. understands the range of possibilities, from luxury waterfront condominiums with incredible water views to secluded hideaways with pools and tropical landscaping in the historical districts. Armed with the most experienced, most professional Realtors in the field, Truman & Co. offers the latest in real estate search technology and personal insight to help new residents find exactly the right spot to call home. 3


American luxury estates

J

ust the words “Key West” are enough to create a sensation of total relaxation . . . soft cooling breezes, luscious sunlight on sparkling clear blue waters, incredible coral reefs, sailboats on the horizon, seven-toed cats . . . And the best part? It’s all true! One of the last islands in the long chain of Florida’s floating paradises, Key West is Caribbean in ambiance, and no wonder. Its miles of sandy shores are built from sand shipped in on barges from the Caribbean! World-class fishing and diving are complimented by the world’s third largest coral reef — some 160 miles long — off the beautiful shores of the nation’s most southernmost city. Key West is closer to Cuba than it is to Miami! So many endangered birds can be found here, the whole island has been officially declared a bird sanctuary. It’s also home to three Civil War forts.

Key West Written by B. B. Smith

Conchs like to tell visitors that happy hour in Key West begins at 9 a.m. Probably true since Key West has more bars per capita than any other place in the country. Lest that rocks your boat, know too more churches too per capita are found here than any other place in the country. “Conchs” are Key West residents. (Note: it’s “in” Key West. Not “on” Key West.) “Saltwater Conchs” were born in Key West. “Freshwater Conchs” are longtime-but-nonnative residents. Originally a “Conch” was a European- ancestry immigrant from the Bahamas. When a baby was born, these folks traditionally put a conch shell on a pole in front of their houses. And those seven-toed “polydactyl” cats? They’re descendents of the 40 famous cats living (and well protected) at the (Ernest) Hemmingway House. Some have six toes. It’s said here is where Hemmingway wrote (or worked on) “A Farewell to Arms,” “Death in the Afternoon,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” and “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.” Depression-era Key West is the setting for “To Have and Have Not.” Fellow author Tennessee Williams started “A Streetcar Named Desire” here and his “The Rose Tattoo” film version was shot here. Key West’s magnificent scenery lured many movie film crews to the island to shoot, among others, “Operation Petticoat,“ “The Rose Tattoo, “ “Reap the Wild Wind,“ “PT 109,“ “Beneath the 12 Mile Reef,“ “License to Kill“ and “Running Scared. A major destination for cruise ships and an important Naval training site, Key West served as President Harry S. Truman’s “Winter White House.”

2

Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter also spent time there. The original name, still heard today, was Cayo Hueso, pronounced “kajo weso” or “bone key.” For decades the island was used as a graveyard; bones could be found everywhere. History is vague, but island ownership changed hands many times, then became part of the United States. It has long been known as the “Gibraltar of the West” (because of its strategic location on the Straits of Florida, a deep shipping lane between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. At one point Key West even briefly declared its independence as the Conch Republic, after a U.S. Border Patrol blockade to search for illegal immigrants created monster traffic jams and seriously impaired Key West’s lucrative tourist trade. The independent spell didn’t last long, but “Conch Republic” can still be found immortalized on souvenirs. A Conch Republic Independence Celebration is celebrated annually on April 23. The City of Key West’s four main founding fathers — John Simonton, Pardon C. Greene, John Whitehead and John W.C. Fleeming — were immortalized in naming the island’s main arteries. Duval Street was named after Florida’s first territorial governor. Key West’s incredible beauty and climate, plus its strategic (and profitable!) location have resulted in a population explosion, explains Truman & Co., Key West’s leading high-end real estate company. The continual influx of folks who can afford the very best has raised the sophistication level of all the amenities these residents demand — in education, housing, shopping, cuisine and entertainment. The climate as well as the bohemian atmosphere draws numerous artist and writers to Key West. Arts and cultural venues abound, and so do celebrities. Among those who do, or have, called Key West home are Jimmy Buffett, David Allen Coe, Stepin Fetchit, Khalil Greene, Calvin Klein, John James Audubon, Kelly McGillis and Stuart Woods (who sets many of his Stone Barrington books in this vicinity). Key West is such an unusual city, it takes an insider to know the ends and outs of finding just the right residential opportunities. Truman & Co. understands the range of possibilities, from luxury waterfront condominiums with incredible water views to secluded hideaways with pools and tropical landscaping in the historical districts. Armed with the most experienced, most professional Realtors in the field, Truman & Co. offers the latest in real estate search technology and personal insight to help new residents find exactly the right spot to call home. 3


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(key west) broker editorial