Archive for Thursday, June 28, 2001

Warren-McElwain one step closer to Eudora

June 28, 2001

A business begun 97 years ago in the back of a Main Street barber shop is a step closer to finding a home in Eudora. This time, the facilities better suit the nature of the business.

The Warren-McElwain Mortuary-Eudora Chapel closed on 3.25 acres at the northwest corner of Intech Business Park June 14.

Although co-owner Larry McElwain said they looked at sites by bustling K-10, the east Eudora location works better for funeral services.

"We didn't want to be where it was extremely busy, where it is out south," McElwain said. "We wanted people to get in and out of there more easily. It's a lot quieter there, too, and not as much traffic."

The building's location requires the construction of a road to connect the building to County Road 442.

McElwain said he hoped to go before the Eudora Planning Commission in August or September to have everything approved. Construction could begin in October or November.

A branch of the mortuary opened in 1904 in the back of a Main Street barbershop as a successor to the Schubert Funeral Home. Carl Schubert, the original funeral director, moved the business to Lawrence in the 1930s. His business joined Funk Mortuary in 1954, creating Cooper-Warren Mortuary. In 1974, the business became the Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

Although architects are still working with the mortuary to finalize the design, architect Chris von Achen, who is helping on the design, said the owners shift around the rooms to find a better fit in the 5,500 square-foot facility. A brick or stone facade and a covered, drive-through porch where mourners can be dropped off play a part in the design as requested by the owners.

"I think the trend in mortuary design is to make it look more home-like," von Achen said.

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