Historic Midtown Kansas City McGilley Chapel Moves On . . .

A funeral home on Main Street which has served countless Kansas City residents is now closed. 

The operation has moved to a smaller storefront across the street as streetcar expansion development and real estate speculation has taken hold across the Midtown corridor. 

This business can trace it's roots back to 1899 but here's a bit of backstory on how the establishment has taken shape in the modern era . . .

In 1945, Mr. McGilley purchased the Eylar Brothers Funeral Home and combined the companies at a facility located at Linwood Boulevard and Woodland Street. After combining, Mellody-McGilley-Eylar bought the company of Quirk and Tobin Undertakers at Linwood Boulevard and Main Street in 1954.

Three years later, in 1957, Quirk and Tobin Funeral Home was renamed Mellody-McGilley-Eylar Funeral Home. In 1959, Mellody-McGilley-Eylar pioneered the funeral planning process and began offering financing options. In 1970, the funeral home at Linwood and Woodland was closed, and the Linwood and Main location became known as the McGilley Midtown Chapel.

The business rose to prominence as the final stop for local Irish-Americans. 

Later, Latinos from the Westside & Westport served as the dominant clientele. 

For generations of Hispanics . . . The McGilley Midtown Chapel has been the last stop of record. 

In the aftermath of COVID and as the American economy "evolves" and impacts longstanding traditions; elaborate funerals are a luxury that fewer people can afford. And so the funeral home business as consolidated and corporate owners no longer need huge storefronts in prominent locations. 

The National Funeral Directors Association has predicted that by 2035, nearly 80% of Americans will opt for cremation.

Rising costs, environmental concerns and the decline of religious affiliation has negatively impacted "traditional" funeral services. 

If the location follows the same path as most of Midtown . . . The spot will soon host yet another luxury real estate scheme and so many families who gathered at this spot in order to offer prayers for their loved ones will be quietly forgotten in service of an often controversial municipal scheme that has generated a great deal of hype but very little viable business that can function without the help of overwhelming taxpayer subsidy.

Developing . . .