One house down from the home featured in my previous post is 316 West Dixie, or the Garnett House & Executive Offices. Also a recently abandoned building, Google maps confirms that back in August of 2013, this home was inhabited…though based on the rocking chair and motorcycle on the front porch, it doesn’t exactly appear office-like.
This side-view of the home from July of 2008 reveals that there’s more to this place that what it seems…the backyard and all that lies therein opens up an entirely new set of questions.
But let’s not find me getting ahead of myself this early in the post. You’ve seen the before pictures. All photos to follow are present-day.
At this point, I took Thomas Street, which runs along the left side of the house, toward the backyard.
At this point, I imagine you may be scratching your head and thinking, What in the heck is this blogger trying to show me that’s so significant in the backyard? Standby, gentle reader. From the back porch area, let’s look into the back yard.
In the backyard, we found a parking area immediately off Thomas Street, a courtyard-like area (pictured in the foreground of the above photo), a small white building that sits right on Thomas Street, and a bunch of trailers that seem to reside permanently in the backyard along the property line. If you scroll back up to the Google Maps screenshots, you’ll notice that in the second shot that looks down Thomas Street shows a parking lot and this small white building.
It’s hard to describe the layout in text, so please reference the hand little paint map I made you below in case you’re beyond lost in this backyard.
Intrigued by this office building/trailer park HQ/apartment complex, we decided to poke around a bit. We started out at what we assumed may have been an office at one point as this structure stood near the parking lot at 102 Thomas Street.
Having thoroughly explored the backyard, we completed our round-the-house tour.
And that’s it for the photos! When I searched for this house on Google, I went with a few questions in mind.
1. What did this house start out as? Single family vs. apartment/boarding house?
2. The main house is huge. Is the back half of this house an addition? The mere size as well as a difference in roof profile (see the most recent photo and pay attention to the roofline in front of and behind the drainpipe) suggest that it may have experienced a sizeable addition at some point in its history.
3. This house has served a lot of purposes. It was clearly an office building at one point as the sign out front says, but it was also used at some point as an office/services building for a trailer park (hence the trailers that remain in the back yard) and also as actual apartments (check out the photo above once more and note the staircases leading down from different doors on the structure, suggesting that the house had been divided up into different units). Which came first? Are the reserved parking spots in the parking lot off Thomas Street for the tenants of the main house or for the trailer tenants?
4. When was it built?
5. How many rooms does it have?
Thankfully, I found a few sites that helped me answer at least a few of these questions.
First, the site below indicates that this house was built in 1910–the same year that its neighbor at 318 W Dixie was built. The same site indicates that the house was a single-family dwelling with a whopping 6 beds, 4 baths and 4,478 square feet. Last sale was in February of 2007 for $255,000.
My next site hit was one that dealt with the Garnett House, the executive offices that once occupied the building. The info shows that the Garnett House was incorporated in 2007 and was categorized under investment offices. It employed about 2 staff and grossed $130,000 annually.
I also found a site that gives the 316 W Dixie address as the office and location of City Mobile Park. While there is no information on the site regarding when the mobile park functioned, when it shut down, etc, it was nice to find a name to put to the stray trailers that remain on the site.
Finally, my last hit was a website that shows one of the building’s former renters (in an official capacity, anyway): one Janice Jefferson, attorney.
Thanks for reading once again! This is the wayward wanderlust at the Garnett House signing out.