The Kirk Hotel Building was one of the many nearby buildings owned at one time by William Kirk, a wagon maker who later became one of the wealthiest men in Syracuse after investing in railroad stock. Although most of it was constructed around 1870, the top floor was added in 1910 and is made of pressed metal. This residential hotel was one of many hotels and boarding houses built in response to thriving railroad activities in the area.
By 1838 a Board of Excise had arrived in the village of Syracuse. That Board recommended that there were eleven proper persons to have licenses as tavern keepers. Among these 11 was William B. Kirk of Kirk's Tavern.
The original Kirk Tavern
The tavern at South Salina and West Fayette streets was an old time public house. It was built in 1824 by John Garrison, who bought a wagon from William B. Kirk, then a wagon maker in Cardiff. Mr. Garrison died in 1826, and Mr. Kirk bought the Tavern, “allowing the price of the wagon thereon.” Mr. Kirk continued as a proprietor until he retired.
Illustration of the Kirk Tavern
In 1859 he built a four-story brick block on this site, named Kirk House, also called, Kirk Block. In 1887 a larger Kirk Block building was constructed by his son, William B. Kirk, Jr., who became mayor of Syracuse.
The Kirk House
The Kirk Block
The building at the southeast corner of West Fayette and South Clinton Streets was became the Kirk Hotel. It was remodeled, the upper stories being a hotel for men and the ground floor was devoted to the restaurant and bar.
The Kirk Block
Article about the sale of the Kirk Block