Overlooking the Raccoon River and nestled down the hill south of Grand Avenue, Terrace Drive is a street with some hidden treasures.
One of those treasures made it into the garage of Urbandale’s Denny Wheeler.
Wheeler has worked in the remodeling industry for many years, and it was at one such job that he found this unique gem.
“We were working at a remodel job on one of those old houses on Terrace Drive,” says Wheeler. “All of the windows were being replaced, and I saw this old arched window on the floor of the attic, and it was headed for the dumpster. I just thought it was a work of art.”
One side of the original cut-glass window is weathered from nearly 100 years in the elements, the paint chipped and peeling. The inside of the window, which hung in the attic, was never painted and displays the rich, deep grain of the old wood.
“I just love this old thing,” he says as he removed it from where it hangs in the garage. “They just don’t make windows like this anymore. Even the curved eyebrow windows are now all built with straight lines. Just look at these curves. This is a work of art.”
Wheeler still works in the remodeling business, but not as much, as he’s semi-retired.
“I only do the jobs I want to now,” says Wheeler. “Mostly for people I know and friends. You never know when I’ll stumble upon something like this old window again.”
This 100-year-old window has seen a great deal of change and growth in the city of Des Moines. Now, hanging in the protection of Wheeler’s garage, it will continue to watch as Des Moines expands further away from its old home on Terrace Drive.
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