Laurel Park has suddenly turned into downtown’s hottest neighborhood. In a beauty contest, it would beat them all. The secret is the collection of great old houses from all eras—which luckily tend to get remodeled rather than torn down.

Since many of them are tiny cottages from the 1920s, the problem is giving them enough scale for the way people live today. You’re going to enlarge things with big closets and bathrooms and a fancy kitchen. 

This week’s house is an interesting solution to the problem. Tucked away down a tiny lane, it looks exactly like what it is–a little white Florida cottage circa 1917. But open it up and you find out there’s a whole other structure right behind it, nicely blended to live like a modern home. 

The original cottage is now an office and bedroom, with a loft. It flows into the new portion where a large great room with fireplace opens onto a wrap-around screen porch around the back of the home. Upstairs is a spacious master suite with sitting area, big closets, and a balcony overlooking the trees. 

As nice as it is, the home seems to be crying out for a pool. It would complete the Key West feeling that makes Laurel Park so special. 

550 Ohio Place is priced at $1,195,000. For more information call Betsy Sublette of Coldwell Banker at (941) 284-8483.

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