Milward Funeral Directors will open its third location this fall, looking to grow in Lexington's suburban areas.
The new facility will be at 1509 Trent Boulevard at Trent and Man o' War boulevards between Tates Creek and Richmond roads.
"It's a different type of funeral home," Vice President Rob Milward said.
It's being designed with the idea of holding more contemporary-style gatherings that include such events as meals after funerals. The four main rooms in the roughly 7,500-square-foot building are spacious and open into a central gathering area with 30-foot ceilings and skylights.
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"Some families are moving toward more contemporary services like hospitality events with music, live or recorded. A piano instead of an organ at times, too ... and perhaps food and beverage service to complete the event," Milward said.
To sum it up, he recalled the phrase, "Reception is the visitation of tomorrow." He said it harks back to previous generations, when families would gather at a member's home for a community meal after a funeral.
"Today, we see more and more families can't accommodate that ... so this facility fills that need," he said.
Milward said his family has long been looking at expanding past the business's locations on North Broadway and Southland Drive.
"The last time we built a branch location was in the early '50s with Southland Drive ..." he said. "We've been studying the Man o' War corridor for years and feel this location will serve the south side of Lexington well."
When it opens, the facility probably will employ up to a dozen full- and part-time workers, Milward said.
Milward Funeral Directors is Lexington's oldest business. It opened in 1825.