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Deep roots

Posted October 08, 2014 in Community Featured, Des Moines West

Kristine WinberWhen Kristine Winber looked at private education costs in southern California for her young son compared with her native Des Moines, the choice was clear: return home.

Winber packed up her son and moved back to Des Moines in 2003. She would periodically come back to visit, and a friend had told her about a house that was for sale at Bradway Place.

Her two oldest children visited Des Moines shortly after Winber’s move, and they, too, were so taken with the city that they decided to move as well. Her grandson now attends Hanawalt Elementary School in the neighborhood, the same school Winber’s father attended. Seven generations of her family have called Des Moines home.

“It’s like those deep roots have taken hold, and everybody is here,” she says.

Since moving back, Winber has reunited with her high school sweetheart, with whom she lives in the prairie mission-style house. Henry, her youngest child who was just in kindergarten when she moved home, is now a senior at Roosevelt High School.

Winber bought her house from a woman who had lived there for about 44 years.

“For the most part, the house was in great shape,” she says.

Kristine Winber moved back to Des Moines from California in 2003 and made her home at Bradway Place. Photos by Melissa Walker.

Kristine Winber moved back to Des Moines from California in 2003 and made her home at Bradway Place. Photos by Melissa Walker.

Winber had air conditioning installed in the 98-year-old house. She had walls knocked down to create an open kitchen, and the basement was refinished into a family room. Unfortunately, a previous owner took out many of the architectural details. Some built-ins still remain. She discovered French doors in an attic closet that had been removed from the doorway between the living room and the sunroom.

“If I had enormous amounts of money, I would restore the whole thing,” she says.

One of Winber’s favorite stories about the house was from the former owner. The woman told her she and her husband had lived in the house for several years, when one day while gardening, they noticed a stained glass window from the outside of the house. The window was being covered inside the house, but the couple exposed it to reveal gold-toned glass.

“It becomes this golden room that is really quite spectacular,” Winber says.

Would you like your home featured in this column in an upcoming issue of Des Moines West Living? If so, email Darren Tromblay at

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