Hotel Sacred Heart

Hotel Sacred Heart restoration and repurposing project

Hotel Sacred Heart Phase 2 Construction

The Minnesota Historical Society has awarded a Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grant in the amount of $290,700 to the Sacred Heart Area Historical Society for the Hotel Sacred Heart Phase 2 Construction project. SHAHS will provide a Match in the amount of $153,592.

Because of the generous donations we received last year, we have the funds to complete rehabilitation of the masonry and entrance vestibules as well as landscaping on the building's west side to achieve positive drainage.

Thank you for considering a gift to the Hotel Sacred Heart project. It is tax deductible. Your donation will have an impact on revitalizing Sacred Heart. You can help restore a historic building and bring senior assisted living and new business to Sacred Heart.

Construction Documents completed for Phase 2 & 3

The Minnesota Historical Society awarded a Minnesota Historical Cultural Heritage Grant in the amount of $183,923, with a $6,530 match, to SHAHS for Hotel Sacred Heart Construction Documents: Phases 2 & 3. This project created construction documents to continue the Hotel restoration project for the remainder of the building's exterior and the interior, except the tenant spaces.

We are looking for a partner to provide Senior Assisted Living in the facility.

If you are interested in setting up a business in the Hotel such as spa, fitness, and beauty shop that will benefit the seniors as well as other age groups please contact Sonja at 320-765-2274 or email

Phase 1 construction completed

In December, 2019, we completed the grant for Phase 1 Construction of the Hotel Sacred Heart project. The facade, porches and landscaping on the north elevation were completed, restoring it to its original appearance.

The Hotel Sacred Heart Facade and Porch Restoration project was advertised in the online plan room for Franz Reprographics. If you go to their website at the top you will see a drop down menu titled "Planrooms" and our project is in the "Franz Public Plan Room."

This publication was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Any views, findings, opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, or the Minnesota Historic Resources Advisory Committee.


Click, below, to make a donation to the project (scroll to "Hotel Sacred Heart Project")

SHAHS Received a Grant for Construction Documents

The Minnesota Historical Society awarded a Minnesota Historical Cultural Heritage Grant in the amount of $10,000 to SHAHS for Construction Documents for Hotel Sacred Heart Phase 1. The grant project start date was December 1, 2017. The deadline for project completion is December 1, 2018. The grant project will generate architectural drawings and specifications for the first of three phases in the Hotel Sacred Heart rehabilitation, which focuses on the building's façade.

The Minnesota Historical Society Awards SHAHS a Sacred Heart Area Historical Society was Hotel Sacred Heart Reuse Feasibility Study

The reuse study teams held a kickoff meeting in March and documented the building conditions. Over 200 Sacred Heart households and businesses were contacted to complete a short survey, and the results were presented at a public meeting in June. The community gathered again for a second meeting on August 31 to hear reuse options along with cost projections. The final written report is available for viewing at the Sacred Heart Area Museum. We are proceeding with a grant request for construction documents for Phase 1 of the construction.

Sign at Hotel Sacred Heart recognizes National Register Listing & Grant Project

A banner/sign was mounted at The Hotel Sacred Heart site on December 29, 2016. The sign recognizes that Hotel Sacred Heart, built in 1914, has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior. It also addresses the current feasibility and reuse project with the wording: "This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota through the Minnesota Historical Society from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund."

The Minnesota Historical Society Awards SHAHS a Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant

Without a concerted effort, our state's historic and cultural treasures are in danger of being lost to time. The Minnesota Historical Society awarded a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant in the amount of $80,125 to the Sacred Heart Area Historical Society. The grant was approved by the Society's award committee in November 2016 and will support its Hotel Sacred Heart Building Reuse Feasibility Study.

Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants are made possible by the Minnesota Legislature from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund created with passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution in November 2008. The grants are awarded to support projects of enduring value for the cause of history and historic preservation across the state.

Hotel Sacred Heart Building Reuse Feasibility Study is a project of enduring value because it will create a valuable study that will be useful in the next step toward repurposing the building. The project begins on November 1, 2016, with an anticipated completion date of September 30, 2017. The project will include an inventory of the community, public meetings, a multidisciplinary condition assessment of the building, and recommendations for a market strategy, a pro-forma analysis, and potential fundraising strategies for two best, viable reuse options.

"It is wonderful to see so many communities and local organizations benefiting from the Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants," said Britta Blomberg, deputy state historic preservation officer. "Minnesotans should be proud of the unprecedented opportunities these grants provide for organizations to preserve and share our history and cultural heritage. The impact of projects supported by Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants will be felt throughout the state for many years to come."

The Hotel Sacred Heart was officially listed to the National Register of Historic Places on May 23, 2016

It was exactly one-hundred-and-two years earlier that the Hotel Sacred Heart opened, May 23, 1914. Check out the front page article in the June 11 issue of the Willmar Tribune.

Hotel Sacred Heart Nominated to National Register

The State National Register Review Board voted for nomination of the Hotel Sacred Heart to the National Register on March 22, 2016.

Hotel Fundraiser brings in over $6,000

Nearly 100 people attended our Fundraiser Meal and Program at the Sacred Heart Community Center on October 1, 2015. Greg Gaut, Historic Preservation Consultant for our "Hotel Sacred Heart National Register Nomination" grant project, presented history on the hotel and the significance of placement on the National Register of Historic Places. For more on the event, please see the October 8, 2015 Renville County Register feature article "Recognizing Hotel Sacred Heart's past and present" by Shelby Lindrud, Editor.

Update on Hotel Sacred Heart project - July 2015

Greg Gaut, Historic Preservation Consultant for the “Hotel Sacred Heart National Register Nomination” grant project, visited Sacred Heart on June 24. He gathered additional material at the Sacred Heart Area Museum and photographed the Hotel Sacred Heart interior and exterior. A group of individuals, who had been in the building when it was a hotel and then apartments, walked with Greg through the building and provided historical information. Previously, Greg had received many documents and photographs compiled by our staff. We continue to work with Greg as he prepares the National Register application.

Update on Hotel Sacred Heart project - June 2015

Historical society purchases hotel to help preserve it.

Roof Project

West Central Roofing completed installation of a new roof covering on Hotel Sacred Heart on April 1, 2015.

Can you help us?

We are looking for descendants of hotel owners and managers, and hotel pictures, clippings and stories including:

    • Your stories, pictures and postcards of the hotel where perhaps you celebrated your school banquet, visited an occupant, attended a gathering or roomed in the hotel

    • The last share of stock for the Sacred Heart hotel. Art J. Mack received it in 1944.

    • Pictures and the speech by R. B. Oshier, representative of the State “U” Extension Division, when he stayed at the Sacred Heart Hotel June 8-13, 1914.

    • Descendants of W.G. Grinnell who took possession of the Sacred Heart hotel August 1921

    • Descendants of Jack Bauman who had a barbershop in the hotel before moving into his own building

    • Descendants and information on Ralph G. Tilbury of Madison who operated the Sacred Heart hotel in 1944

    • Descendants of L.F. Reddicliffe who became the first leasee of Hotel Sacred Heart in April 1914

    • Specs for the building of Hotel Sacred Heart in 1913 prepared by Architect Martin Granum of Montevideo

    • Construction pictures of the hotel built 1913-1914 by contractors T.T. Rodeberg and H.L. Bieger of Montevideo

    • Clippings from Granite Falls and Renville newspapers announcing the Sacred Heart hotel construction and the May 1914 opening

    • People who stayed in the hotel and stories of their stay

    • Hotel Guest Register


Hotel Sacred Heart, located at 112 West Maple Street in Sacred Heart, Minnesota, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1913-1914 a group of local investors built a two-story brick hotel with a flat roof in the center of Sacred Heart, a town with a population of 548, about 110 miles west of Minneapolis in Renville County. The Hotel Sacred Heart faces north on Maple Street, more commonly known as Highway 212, which runs parallel to the railroad tracks which are one block to the north.

The hotel building was constructed in a restrained Commercial Style with some detailing along the cornice. The main body of the building is a rectangle with the longest side facing Maple Street. A rectangular wing extends south from the west half of the rear façade of the main structure, forming an “L-shaped” plan. There is a full façade wooden porch with balcony along the front elevation. The building retains its historic integrity because the exterior is largely unchanged and the interior retains much of its original millwork and flooring even though partitions have been added in some places as a result of its reuse as an apartment building.

Built at a cost of $16,000, Hotel Sacred Heart opened in 1914 and soon developed quite a reputation for being the “best little hotel between the Twin Cities and Aberdeen, South Dakota, along the Milwaukee railway.” It was the bus stop depot and site of many meetings and gala dinner parties by businesses, clubs, schools and private parties. Local businesses and traveling salesmen used rooms to sell their wares and services. The Harlem Globe Trotters made Sacred Heart their base and stayed in the hotel when they played in Sacred Heart and neighboring towns in the 1930s-1970s. The porch served as platform for political speakers, including Governor Thye.

The name of the hotel was changed to the Romborg Hotel in 1947, and it continued to operate as a hotel until 1977. An auction followed in 1978. The building was sold and remodeled into apartments. With changes in ownership and no tenants, the vacated building went up for tax forfeiture in 2014.

Faced with the reality that the hotel may cease and addressing public concern for preservation of the historic hotel, the City of Sacred Heart and the historical society partnered to transfer the property to the SHAHS in January 2015. To protect the structure from further deterioration, the SHAHS financed a complete reroofing project in April 2015. The society organized a cleaning crew and task force to engage the Sacred Heart community and beyond.

The Minnesota Historical Society had deemed the property eligible for the National Register in 1984, and the SHAHS proceeded with a Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grant to complete the nomination process. The Hotel Sacred Heart was officially listed to the National Register of Historic Places on May 23, 2016. A reuse/feasibility study was conducted in 2017.