Old corner, new purpose
New Horvath Remembrance Center ready for first service
MARSHALL — After 40 years, property at the corner of 5th and West Lyon streets in downtown Marshall has a new purpose.
It’s the new location of the Horvath Remembrance Center, a modern day version of traditional funeral homes. The moving day and health inspections took place in the past week.
“We’re looking forward to our first services in the new building,” said owner Quinn Horvath. “It’s been my intention to build a new facility ever since I moved to Marshall. It’s definitely home for my family, so I wanted to make that kind of commitment.”
The property was the site of Marshall’s Lyon Street school. The entire former school campus was sold off to developers planning to build the Heritage Pointe assisted living center, but the developer knew of Horvath’s interest in the Lyon Street corner and offered him the possibility of buying it.
The remembrance center was built by Lyon Contracting of St. Cloud, the same company that served as general contractor for Heritage Pointe. They worked with a group of Marshall-based sub-contractors.
Horvath’s first choice for building construction was to locate across the street from the current funeral home rather than moving to a different location. He purchased the land in 2012.
“I’ve had my eye on it for many years,” he said. “It has several definite advantages for us. We couldn’t ask for a better location.”
The new facility, situated across the street from the former funeral home, will continue the benefit of being within a block of four Marshall churches; Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, St. James Episcopal, Christ United Presbyterian, and Cornerstone United Methodist.
At the same time, it will have the convenience of being all on one level. Total square footage will approximately double to 8,000 square feet. A total of 49 new parking spaces will augment what’s available on the street and in a neighboring downtown lot.
Horvath designed the facility with the idea of staying in step with changes in the structure and content of funeral services.
He said that for some people the traditional religious service is still the preferred method of funeral visitation. For others, the process involves more of a non-traditional gathering, one that involves time for fellowship and the use of technology to share memories of a loved one.
“Our design meets the needs of both groups,” Horvath said. “The gathering space is multi-purpose in a way that can be adjusted based on the size of the event and the type of activity.”
Special features included in the design will include a landscaped memory walk that leads down to the street, along with a spacious entry area centered around a granite island to display pictures and objects.
The building will have full 21st century technological capabilities, with the capacity to have relatives and friends experience the events online.
The former funeral home building has already been sold. It has five apartments upstairs, with several different kinds of possibilities for renting out the main floor.
Built in 1896, it was home to several churches before Joe Rehkamp converted it to a funeral home after World War II. Horvath joined Paul and Jack Rehkamp in the Rehkamp Funeral Home business in 1992, and purchased it in 2004.
The business has expanded from its base in Marshall and Minneota to also serve the communities of Tracy and Balaton. When looking back at changes in the funeral home business over the past 30 years, Horvath noted that it still involves the same basic need to provide a comforting event for grieving families.
“It’s rewarding to help them,” he said. “Every week is different. It always involves new families and new connections.”
Jeff Lorber of Lyon Contracting said the project came together according to plan. All overhead infrastructure was in place prior to October’s snow event.
“It’s been a smooth construction process,” Lorber said. “The weather cooperated, which helped as far as staying on schedule.”
Marshall Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brad Gruhot said the project is a valuable addition to Marshall’s downtown area.
“It’s a huge plus,” Gruhot said. “Anytime we can take an empty space and fill it with a brand new building, it helps the community. Another real advantage was having local contractors contribute to the project. It’s the kind of construction process that kept contractors busy.”