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What Should The West Bottoms Look Like?

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The West Bottoms is an industrial area directly west of downtown Kansas City, located at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers.  It is one of the oldest areas of the city, and the original home of two of the region's key industries: beef and railroads.

Some drive down to the West Bottoms this time of year for the haunted houses, others for the booming antique district, still others for the American Royal. But as the neighborhood develops as a destination for arts, restaurants and residential, will there be room for the seasonal activities, let alone the industries that have long been the backbone of the West Bottoms?

On KCUR's news program KC Currents, we explored the past and present of the West Bottoms, as well as the potential for new commercial, residential, industrial and artistic development.

For more detailed analyses of the potential for development in the area, check out the Kansas City Design Center's Reframingthe City: West Bottoms and the Urban Land Institute's Redeveloping The West Bottoms.


  • Vladimir KrsticKansas City Design Center
  • Rachel McMeachin, former West Bottoms resident, and aerial instructor and performer with Voler
Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer, Media Training Manager and now the Community Engagement Manager at KCUR. You can reach him at Matthew@kcur.org, or on Twitter @MLMIndustries.
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