In Memoriam - Phil Kirk, 1937-2014

Many of you will know Phil Kirk as the man for whom we named Kirk Hall at the Central Library. Or as this generation’s downtown Kansas City real estate developer par excellence. Or a genial figure at many of our Library programs and special events.

He was much, much more. His family, and notably his father Jim, were prominent in local business and philanthropy. Jim Kirk's office furniture from Kirk Welding ended up in One North at the Central Library as part of our soft seating there. Mike Kirk, Phil's brother, has been an active supporter of the Library.

Phil's career involved guidance of DST 's redevelopment of the West Side of downtown in partnership with Kansas City Southern, Financial Holding Corporation, State Street, and many others, but the transformation was uniquely his vision.

He was a key part of the civic group that picked the First National Bank building to renovate for the Central Library, and then gave and raised substantial amounts of the Capital Campaign money, after which he was always our tireless champion and advocate.

He was also the primary supporter of our great partnership with Crossroads Academy charter school, and typical of Phil, his last charitable act was to secure funding for their building.

No individual is more responsible for the revival of downtown and the Library's central role in that. We owe him a lot and we will deeply miss him.

Crosby Kemper III
The Kansas City Public Library

A memorial service for Phil Kirk will be held Tuesday, October 28, 2014, at 10 a.m. at Saint Michael and All Angels Church, 6630 Nall Avenue, Mission KS 66202. More information is available in the obituary in The Kansas City Star.


Phil Kirk, a giant in downtown Kansas City real estate, dies at age 76.  The Kansas City Star.

Downtown champion Phil Kirk has died.  Kansas City Business Journal.