After living for 22 years in a six-bedroom house where they raised four children, you might expect that Frank and Terre Klipsch had some downsizing to do when they moved into an apartment.
But the Davenport mayor's wife is somewhat ruthless that way.
"I'm a minimalist," she says matter-of-factly. "I hate clutter. It's nice to get rid of stuff."
Letting go isn't quite so easy for Frank, who speaks a bit wistfully of one of their children's toys — a Teddy Ruxpin animatronic bear — that went for 25 cents at a garage sale. Teddy was the nation's best-selling toy in 1985 and 1986.
But both Klipsches were motivated when they picked out the place that would become their new home in April — the middle floor of the curved, five-level glassed addition to the former Kahl nursing home in west Davenport. The entire complex has been renovated into 49 units called the Gold Coast Apartments that began leasing this spring.
"We had no intention of ever renting again, but we walked in here and I walked to the windows and said, 'We have to live here,'" Terre said.
Theirs was not a snap decision.
"We'd been looking for some time because of the challenges of going up and down three flights of stairs," Frank said of their house on Hayes Court. "We debated whether to build or buy a ranch-style house that would be more accessible."
Terre has rheumatoid arthritis and a bad back that she attributes to multiple sprains when she was younger and involved in everything from riding horses to working as an exercise physiologist. She's had several joints replaced and fully expects to eventually need a wheelchair to get around.
In looking at housing that was available, they visited the apartments at 9th and Marquette streets and decided that is where they wanted to live.
"This is an opportunity to do the downsizing and adjust our lifestyle," Frank said. Because they are renting, they can stay as long as they like and take their time deciding whether to ultimately buy another house.
Not that the apartment is small: At about 2,000 square feet, it is as big or bigger than many single-family homes.
Klipsch also likes the idea that they moved to the central city and the message that sends to others. "This is a neighborhood that sometimes doesn't get the credit that it deserves," he said.
And then there's the view. The early morning sun peeking over the Mississippi River. City lights popping up as darkness falls. Angry storm clouds rolling across a 180-degree-plus swath of sky. Fireworks showering Modern Woodmen Park. With binoculars, they can see families riding the Ferris wheel and teenagers going airborne in the skatepark.
The Klipsches spent their first night in the apartment with four essentials moved in by professionals —their bed and Keurig coffeemaker and Terre's piano and long arm quilting machine.
They have since settled in with their dogs and cat and have made the second bedroom into Terre's art quilt studio.
"It's such a beautiful place to live," Terre says. "I just love living here."