Church Turned Art Gallery But Also a Home Featuring a Rare Stone? You Have to See This

by Jamey MortonOctober 18, 2018

A Keystone Home in the Florida Keys… That’s Made of Stone… Florida Keystone

Have you ever wanted to own a piece of Florida history? More specifically, have you ever wanted to own piece of the history of the Florida Keys? Add in the fact that we’re not just talking about a small chunk of Florida Key history, but a rather beautiful home and art gallery remodeled out of a historic church constructed by hand at the turn of the 19th century by freed slaves from a beautiful type of stone only found locally. Further, the property is located in a prime spot in Key West, just blocks from the water, making the asking price of just under $2.6 million seem perfectly reasonable.

“Rockhouse,” as it’s currently called (there’s a sign outside the home and another that reads “Rockhouse Gallery” over the entry to the gallery portion of the building), is a work of art in and of itself. Never mind the painstaking restoration and remodel that the building has gone through to make it a completely one-of-a-kind Key West property. This home would be a stunner, just given its construction and the materials used, even if it were currently an empty shell.

church art gallery

A Wealth of History in the Florida Keys

The home was first constructed as a church, known as the Saint Stephen AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Zion Church. As mentioned above, the builders of the church were freed slaves working to build their own house of worship in Key West around the end of the 1700s. The building has real provenance; it also has fourteen inch-thick walls.

church art gallery

Crafted from a local stone called Florida Keystone, the rock type is known for its strength, durability, and beauty. This is a type of limestone quarried locally and known for the richness of coral fossils it has swirling through it – specifically brain and fan corals.

Due to the sturdiness of the property’s construction and the strength of its materials, this building has stood the test of time (and the incredible weather events that the Keys are known to sustain from time to time). It will likely continue to stand up under those pressures, long into the future.

church art gallery

So Is This a Gallery or a Home?

The short answer to this question is both. The building has over two thousand square feet of commercial space, currently operating as an art gallery, but is easily adaptable toward housing a number of different business types. This space takes up the main church section of the building, as well as the adjacent bell tower.

The building also contains a luxury loft apartment, complete with two bedrooms and an additional one-bedroom, one-bath apartment that can be rented out or used as a mother-in-law suite (or guest quarters). The entire building features original exposed wood beams, antique windows (some of them made of stained glass), and custom flooring throughout.

church art gallery

Finding Your Next Home in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys has long been a magnet for eccentrics and artists. But you don’t have to be one of our foremost authors (Ernest Hemingway) or a guitar player in search of a cold drink (Jimmy Buffett) to call the Keys home. You just have to have $2.6 million and a love for old stone churches turned into luxury apartment/art galleries. Ready to make a move today?

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About The Author
Jamey Morton
Jamey has been a writer since he discovered science fiction and fantasy in the fourth grade. His early love for all things strange and mysterious has translated into a passion for writing about haunted mansions and other intriguing topics related to real estate and homeownership. Jamey loves nothing more than finding a medieval castle in the middle of New Jersey or a chalet on the coast of Florida. When not researching otherworldly real estate, Jamey can be found writing his series of outer space horror novels in his home in Seattle.