Carol Laden and her husband, David, have lived in their West Mount Airy twin for 46 years.
“In our generation, we all wanted an older home,” she said.
When she and David were looking for property in 1972, Laden said, they were drawn to the details of the 1925 home, as well as the quiet block of West Allens Lane.
“It’s a really pretty street; it was just a pretty home,” she said. “It had a lot of really neat architectural details inside, and it had a really nice yard and a little front porch.”
The three-bedroom home features original elements including a columned entrance to the den, a built-in cupboard, and white oak flooring throughout.
Laden said they have made improvements to the home gradually over time, but they have resisted doing major renovations.
“We didn’t do what people do now, which is hire some team to come in and knock down walls,” she said.
Over the years, the family has redone the kitchen and touched up the two full baths and powder room. Laden said much of her attention was on making improvements outside the house.
“We did a lot of gardening, and it was really fun,” she said.
The Katsura tree outside started as a seedling Laden found in the garden one day. She nourished it in a pot before planting it. Today it towers over the garden.
“It’s gorgeous,” she said. “I didn’t know what would happen, so I left it in the pot for a long time.”
The garden also includes a small pond the couple put in after David installed a circulating pump.
While the garden is almost always among her favorite part of the house, she is still taken by the home’s natural light and the charm of the architectural details, she said. Over the years, she said she has used various rooms as musical and artistic studios.
“It’s the kind of house you can do a lot of different things with, depending on what stage of life you’re in,” Laden said.
Today she and David are retired — a stage that has led to their decision to list their West Mount Airy home for sale.
“We have seven grandchildren,” Laden said. “We decided we should get closer to our younger generation.”
Of their four children, Laden said one daughter lives nearby in Green Lane. She and David have recently bought a home in that community.
“It’s a different kind of house. It’s not the kind of house you have four kids in,” she said.
The West Mount Airy property is listed with Chrissy Erickson at Elfant Wissahickon for $400,000.