House of the Week: A Key West Church Turned Home Sanctuary

It’s not often that you find a home with a storied American past that has a happy modern ending. This Key West church was erected in 1867 by formerly enslaved people as a place to worship after the Civil War ended; it was rebuilt in 1911.

Nestled in Bahama Village, FL and dedicated as a historic landmark, the 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom home is on the market for $949,000.

After the church’s Baptist congregation closed the house of worship in the 1970s, the current owner bought it and turned it into a modern sanctuary.

With careful craftsmanship, he created a 2,692-square-foot home with a rustic-church exterior and a warm, open-space interior. Listing agents Dean and Keith Townsend of Doug Mayberry Real Estate said the owner chose the church because, at the time, it offered the lowest price per square foot in Key West.

Although the home retains the look of a place of worship, it feels more like a place to reflect on the importance of sacred spaces. In fact, the property includes three living spaces: a 2-bedroom, 1-bath main area; a 1-bedroom, 1-bath artist’s studio; and a charming 1-bedroom, 1-bath guest cottage.

Wood-paneled walls add warmth throughout the main home, while arched ceilings and stained glass recall the home’s history. The master bedroom includes extensive wood ceilings, a built-in bookshelf and a desk area, while the top floor features a loft with skylight windows, exposed wood beams and stylish ceiling fans.

An oasis awaits in the backyard with an assortment of palm plants. On the way to the guest cottage, a stunning deck and benches fill the shadow of a spectacular shade tree. A diminutive porch leads the way into a quaint space with room for a full-sized bed and a delightful bathroom complete with skylight and green tile flooring.

Fellow craftsmen will appreciate the additional shed perfect for storing tools, and the expansive outdoor space will feel like a second home.

Photos by Nick Doll.

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