George Ehrlich    1925-2009



 

GEORGE EHRLICH, Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, died November 28, 2009, at St. Luke's Hospital at the age of 84.  He was born in Chicago on January 28, 1925, the son of Joseph and Mathilda Kohn Ehrlich, and received his academic
degrees from the University of Illinois.  He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and the Air Force during the Korean War.

 

From 1954 to 1992 Dr. Ehrlich taught art history at UMKC, chairing his department from 1964 to 1975.  As author and photographer of Kansas City, Missouri: An Architectural History, 1826-1990 and co-author (with David H. Sachs) of Guide to Kansas Architecture, he was one of the Midwest's leading advocates of historic preservation.  His book about KCMO is featured on "The Community Bookshelf" covering the Kansas City Public Library parking garage.  In his later years he worked on a biography of pioneer architect Asa Beebe Cross.

 

Dr. Ehrlich was a longtime member of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Kansas City Landmarks Commission, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Advisory Preservation Committee for the Restoration of Union Station, as well as an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects.  A featured commentator on KCPT's series Uniquely Kansas City: A History of the Arts, he also wrote guest articles on architecture and historic preservation for the Kansas City Star, and was active with the Rockhill Ridge and 49/63 neighborhood associations.  The Historic Kansas City Foundation offers an annual Achievement in Preservation Award in his name, and UMKC offers a George Ehrlich Scholarship for art history majors.  In 2003 the Kansas City Architectural Foundation presented him with a Legends Award.

 

Dr. Ehrlich leaves his wife of 53 years, Mila Jean Smith Ehrlich; his son Paul Stephen Ehrlich, employed by the University of Washington Medical Center; and his son Matthew Carleton Ehrlich, Professor of Journalism at the University of Illinois.  The family suggests memorial donations be made to the George Ehrlich Scholarship Fund or the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection-Kansas City.