In its 140th year, a local family-owned business is trying something new... something you won't see anywhere else in the area.
Driving by, it looks like a nice building and that's exactly what Eric Trimble says he wants.
"I want a building that people drive by and say - 'That's a pretty new building' - and - 'I wonder what it is' - and they'll see the sign and say - 'Oh yeah, it's a funeral home,'" said Trimble, the President/CEO of Trimble Incorporated, which first began in 1874. "I didn't want them driving by and saying - 'That looks like a funeral home.'"
However, it's a funeral home unlike any other.
"What we're opening is an event center. The entire building is an event center for all the events in a family's life or in a community's life."
Forced to move and make way for the new Interstate 74 bridge, Trimble Funeral and Cremation Centers is now at 701 12th Street, Moline and with the new location, comes new services and a new name - Trimble Pointe and CityView Celebrations.
The first half is Trimble Pointe, which includes the funeral home and crematory. However, unlike others, Trimble Pointe offers a crematory that is part of the building with a private viewing room for families. In November 2013, a giant crane placed the 24,000-pound crematory in the building before the walls and roofs were built.
"Not every family wants to view the cremation, but every year a couple families do and we have the opportunity," Trimble said. "The families can view the crematory, observe, and confirm that it's clean and empty."
The funeral side of the facility also includes a room specifically for florists and flower storage, a room with samples of different kinds of caskets and add-ons, as well as a shop to buy items that honor or remember a loved one, a family room, and a children's room.
What makes the facility different is the cafe, the Yamaha Conservatory Disklavier Grand Piano that plays anything from the organ to an acoustic guitar, and the "feeling" of the building.
"The architect says he made it a legacy building, a landmark building," explained Trimble. "Not necessarily in size, but in feel - much as a museum or a city hall or a library would be a landmark building in the community where people are used to gathering. We hope this takes that same place."
The CityView Celebrations side of the facility is where the building becomes multipurpose. The chapel is at the center of it all and a place that Trimble says is meant to serve anyone and everyone at any stage of life.
"The funeral being a major part of those events for all the various events that a funeral entails - the visitation, the funeral, the gathering, the memorial service, or a private family gathering and viewing. This is a major use of these facilities, but it's not the exclusive use of the facilities because families can also use it for wedding receptions, a funeral lunch, a hospitality event with wine and cheese or beer and pretzels, a rehearsal dinner, or a Chamber of Commerce meeting. It will be able to take care of the community and all of their events."
CityView Celebrations continues in the lower level of the building with a reception center that includes a bar, lounge, room that seats up to 200 people, a catering room, and its own parking lot. In addition, on the wall opposite a scenic view of the Quad Cities, is a photo gallery commissioned by Hunt Harris. The photos include unique perspectives of popular spots on both sides of the Mississippi River.
"It reflects what this community is about," says Trimble. "Some of the older buildings, some of the newer buildings, the communities involved. We're proud of the community."
It's one reason why Trimble says they wanted to stay in downtown Moline. Trimble says it was a large piece of vacant land, close to downtown, and they enjoy the Florciente Neighborhood.
"Our family made the commitment early on," he explains. "We wanted to stay in the core area of downtown. If you put a compass on our present rooftop, it's almost geographically in the center of the metropolitan area and we didn't want to be too far from this."
Plus, it's still close to Interstate 74 and the Rock Island Arsenal.
"We're three blocks south of the iWireless Center so anybody from the Iowa side famliar with the iWireless Center knows right where we are," he says. "We're still the closet funeral home to the Rock Island National Cemetery and that was important to us because of our Veterans Funeral Care, which is part of one of our initiatives."
"We believe in Illinois and we certainly believe in Moline," he adds. "Downtown Moline is the place to be right now. With everything's that's happening with the new Q - the intermodal station - and Western Illinois University and all the new housing units downtown and the new restaurants and pubs, it's really an exciting place to be."
As for anyone who is a little unsure when it comes to holding an event or a wedding at a place primarily known for being a funeral home, Trimble says to come see the facility firsthand before making an opinion.
"We had a high school reunion here and one of the ladies attending put on Facebook - 'I can't imagine going to a funeral home for my high school reunion.' They all came, they all had a good time, and later she texted my son and said - 'I just got engaged tonight. Can we use that room for our wedding reception?'180 degrees, because she saw it and that's what we hope the community does and we hope they embrace our vision."
Trimble Pointe and CityView Celebrations has two opportunities coming up for anyone who is interested. An open house will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 2nd and 3rd, 2014 from 10am-4pm. The facility is located three blocks south of the iWireless Center, up the hill on 12th Street in Moline.