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Peterson Brothers Funeral Home will be creating a landscaped green space where a nearby church once stood at the corner of Seventh Street and Litchfield Avenue. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

Willmar, Minn., funeral home plans green space

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WILLMAR -- Peterson Brothers Funeral Home of Willmar, 700 Becker Ave. S.W., will be creating a landscaped green space where a church once stood at the corner of Seventh Street and Litchfield Avenue Southwest.

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Lance Peterson, president and owner of Peterson Brothers Funeral Home, said Friday the funeral home purchased the vacant property at about Thanksgiving last year after the church was demolished on Feb. 12 and 13, 2011.

The church had been abandoned, was in disrepair and was declared unsafe by the city.

Peterson said the corner of Seventh Street and Litchfield Avenue Southwest, just north of the funeral home, is one of Willmar's gateways and he plans to landscape and create a beautiful welcome area to the city.

"It will be beautifully and professionally landscaped and it will enhance not only our business but the gateway to Willmar, parking and badly needed green space for our sector of town,'' he said.

The space will include flags of the United States, POW/MIA and state of Minnesota. Also, the site will have two plaques: one dedicated to those who served in the armed forces, and the other to recognize the site as the location of First Covenant Church and Templo Mahanaim Assemblea de Dios Church.

Peterson, who is the fifth consecutive generation funeral director of the family company founded in 1889, hopes to have the project completed by Memorial Day weekend.

First Covenant Church was built in 1921 and was used as a church until 1978. The building then served as a law office from 1980 to 1999, and served as the Templo Mahanaim Assemblea de Dios Church for a number of years until the congregation could no longer afford to make repairs.

The building was abandoned and declared unsafe by the city in November 2009. The building was eventually demolished and the site was leveled and graveled.

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David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150
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