Paul and Theresa Weeks’ house will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2014.
The couple’s early 1920s-style house was built in 1914, at a time when the roads were still dirt.
Although the couple doesn’t know much about the original owners of the house at 4308 Woodland Ave. except for their names, Paul Weeks says he often contemplates what the original owners’ lives were like and how they had decorated the house.
The house was in good condition when the couple bought it. They are the fourth family to live in the house, and the previous owners only lived there for a couple of years.
Although the kitchen and bathrooms have been modernized, the house still retains its original light fixtures, wood-burning fireplace, wood trim, radiators and wood floors. The floors had been covered with carpet, Paul believes, almost the entire time because they were in pristine condition when the carpets were removed and only required a sealant coat.
The couple settled into the house in April 1993. They were living in a townhouse in West Des Moines with their older daughter, Caroline. They considered building a new house but looked at dozens of houses before they found their home on the city’s west side.
“We both enjoy older architecture and the variety of architecture you find in this neighborhood,” Theresa says, adding that they also like the mature trees in the area and the friendliness of the neighborhood.
Both Paul and Theresa serve on the board of the Ingersoll Park Neighborhood Association. The neighbors get together for social events several times a year.
Since they’ve owned the house, Paul has planted 12 different varieties of trees on the almost 1-acre lot. The family spends a lot of time sitting on their back deck watching the wide range of wildlife from foxes to owls to turkeys.
“When we sit on our deck, we never know what we’re going to see,” Theresa says.
The family — daughter Emily was born a few years after they moved in — also loves to spend time in their front sitting room next to the fireplace. Paul says the house is a comfortable and homey place to live and someplace they love to come home to.
Emily says she loves the island located in the middle of where Hardwood Drive and Woodland Avenue meet. That chunk of land and one down the street at Woodland and 44th Street were meeting spots for neighborhood children and a great place to set up lemonade stands.