PhotoBike Tour 8: A Key West Treasure– The Albury House

This is my favorite house in Key West. It had been in the Albury family since being built in the 1800s. The house’s last occupant, Bonnie Albury,  died in 2007. I had the privilege of being glared at by her once while strolling past the house. The place is now up for sale… and needs a lot of work, most notably on the exterior. It needed attention when I first saw it in 1985, and it needs even more now. But it’s beautiful– its ancient Key West soul glows.

I can’t get enough of this house… here are some shots from August 2010…

And here’s a resident’s blog about Bonnie, and her life in Key West.

She was quite a character!

Maybe I’m one of the strange men she called the police about over the years?

Read the blog entry just below this one for our recent shenanigans on the island…


9 responses

  1. What a beautiful old home. It is a shame Bonnie allowed it to fall into disrepair if there was truly a family fortune that could have helped to give it a facelift. I really like that black and white picture of the gate leaning against the porch like it is alright to take a look around, now. I feel a follow-up post on this one when it sells!

  2. I was blessed to have many conversations with Ms. Bonnie over the years. She was a charming and crabby person at the same time. One Thanksgiving I was riding my bike from one friends feast to another and was stopped by Ms. Bonnie with a rare occurrence, a greeting from her. She invited me in to hear President Bush speaking to the troops in Iraq on the radio. She was so moved by this speech that we spent over two hours talking in her kitchen. It was the only time I was in her home, but I was frequently invited to sit on the porch step and talk to her.

    Ms Bonnie was proud of her family’s involvement in law enforcement in the county, she was proud of her sister who was the vice president of a local bank long before women held those types of jobs in other places. She loved her children and grandchildren – even as she thought they were a tad ‘lazy’.

    Ms. Bonnie told me the story of the New York developer who knocked on her door sometime in the early 2000’s and said he wanted to buy her house – just name the price. She called the cops. He came back the next day with a check for $2,000,000 and she pulled a gun and told him to get off her property. He called the cops and they told him to never go back because the next time she might shot him and that would be his problem.

    I am sorry that I will never get to see Ms Bonnie again. I too wish I had the money, because I would fix the house up just enough and then live there with my four cats and my husband and be the charming crabby old lady in the neighborhood.

    Pam Trowbridge

  3. Hi- I know this post is a little old, so no one may see this… But my name is Charlotte Barletta and my family are the people who renovated the house, as well as the adjacent property on William St. The project was very long and difficult, but we tried to keep as much of the houses character and style as possible.
    The interior was a time capsule. All the appliances were pre 80s and the wallpaper and carpets were reminiscent of a groovier time fallen into disrepair. Termites, rot, and time had claimed the house and some places, such as the top deck and bathroom were unsafe to enter.
    Some original moldings and fixtures were intact and are restored in their former glory currently.
    The house is completely fixed up, with nary a termite in sight 🙂
    This place was a labor of love and one of the most challenging, yet rewarding things we ever undertook. Knowing that this house was so treasured by so many also motivated high quality and beautiful results.
    Thanks for everything

  4. Charlotte, we’re heading to KW next week, February 4-8- I’ll be passing by and taking some photos- I’ll bring the needlepoint as well; it’s small enough to transport easily 🙂

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