Plans for Kansas City Hyatt disaster memorial get financial boost

A group raising money to build a memorial to the victims and rescuers of the July 17, 1981, Hyatt Regency skywalk collapse, which killed 114 people and injured more than 200, announced a $25,000 boost on Thursday.

John Sullivan, a Dallas lawyer whose mother was killed in the disaster, which occurred during a tea dance at the hotel 28 years ago Friday, made the pledge in the name of his 5-year-old daughter. Kathryn Sullivan was born on her grandmother’s birthday and named after her.

Sullivan called on other attorneys, especially those involved in the complex litigation after the skywalk collapse, to also contribute to the project.

The anniversary was marked on the site of the planned memorial in Hospital Hill Park at 22nd Street and Gillham Road, across the street from the Hyatt Regency Crown Center hotel, where the disaster occurred.

City Councilwoman Jan Marcason said it was an appropriate place to publicly acknowledge that tragedy strikes and to contemplate how a community reacts to it.

Lorie Bowman of Bowman Bowman Novick architects described the memorial as a circular plaza with concentric rings of decorative concrete and landscaping to evoke the ripple effects of the disaster.

Project funds are being managed by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. For more information, go to

See a photo gallery of the disaster at