When I first was introduced to the area of Casa Roma lane I was not working in real estate yet. I would pass by the properties between the VA Hospital and Coconut Mallory on a kayak. They abut the Cow Key Channel which separates Key West from Stock Island. The tower was always intriguing to me. I always wondered how it looked inside.
It is situated on a private lane so it wasn't some place I would generally go without a reason. We listed this property early in 2021 and I'd have to say it is one of the most interesting pieces of real estate on the island of Key West.
According to our town historian, Tom Hambright, this tower was once a water tower built by the Navy in the late 1930s. It was then used by the department of fisheries for many years as a lab where they developed shark repellant for the Navy. The building next door which houses units 1 & 2 of the Casa Roma complex is now two separate dwellings but has seen a variety of activities from being a motel to a crawfish (spiny lobster) hatchery.
The tower is now part of a gorgeous home that was added by architect Kevin Melloncamp in 2003. The home and tower are integrated to flow. The first level has two bedrooms and two full baths. The wrap around porch and pool with spa complete the first floor features. Most of the living space on the second floor with a wrap around covered porch. The spiral staircase from the kitchen winds up to a bedroom with full bath and the tower room offers a sweeping view of Stock Island and the Cow Key Channel.
This property is one-of-a-kind in Key West and although it is away from the hustle and bustle of Duval Street, it lends itself to the peaceful side of paradise. The beach is not far down South Roosevelt Blvd for your morning walk or bike ride, stores and restaurants are just around the corner. There is even a small bar and a marina adjacent to Coconut Mallory next door if you just want to sip a drink and watch the boats go by.
To search for old photos of Key West and of Casa Roma please visit the Florida Keys Monroe County Library Flickr account here.