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The History and Future of the West Bottoms

Tucked into the floodplain at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers is an area chock full of Kansas City history. The West Bottoms was the heartbeat of Kansas City expansion, being at times the center of river commerce, a railroad hub and the nexus of the Great Plains livestock industry.

Darby Trotter, a retired Vice President of Faultless Inc., has worked in the West Bottoms for many years and is now one of the leaders in the revitalization of the Bottoms. He’ll share his knowledge of West Bottoms history with a peek into future development.


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westbottomsmap_1895

A map of the West Bottoms in 1895.

Time and Place

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
7:00 pm

This Month's Location: John's Big Deck
View on map

presentation by Darby Trotter, PhD, CEO of Kansas City River Trails, Inc.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
6 p.m. Social Hour and dinner served
7 p.m. Presentation

This Month’s Location:
On the Second floor of John’s Big Deck in the downtown Library District

928 Wyandotte St., use door south of main entrance.

Tucked into the floodplain at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers is an area chock full of Kansas City history. The West Bottoms was the heartbeat of Kansas City expansion, being at times the center of river commerce, a railroad hub and the nexus of the Great Plains livestock industry. Today’s West Bottoms is an industrial center peppered with clubs, antique stores, art galleries and haunted houses, at times neglected and at other times full of promise.

westbottoms

The West Bottoms in the late 1800’s.

Darby Trotter, a retired Vice President of Community Affairs at Faultless Starch, has worked in the West Bottoms for many years and is now one of the leaders in the revitalization of the Bottoms. He’ll share his knowledge of West Bottoms history with a peek into future development. As a booster for the Riverfront Heritage Trail, Darby is on the forefront of finding new ways to connect Kansas Citians with this historically rich area and the river that forms it.

H. Darby Trotter, PhD, retired from his 30 year career as a psychologist in 1998 to begin new work in strategic planning and community development. As Vice President of Community Affairs at Faultless Starch/Bon Ami, he focused his energies on the redevelopment of the 6 industrial districts surrounding downtown Kansas City, including the West Bottoms area. He served as President and CEO of Kansas City River Trails and President of the Kansas City Industrial Council successfully raising funds for infrastructure improvement, environmental mitigation, blight removal, and economic development. A history buff, Darby has been involved in uncovering the often buried heritage of the City by building appropriate historic public art along the Riverfront Heritage Trail.  For example, he has been responsible for the construction of art in pocket parks commemorating Inca styled Pyramids, Lewis & Clark Canoes, a memorial to the contributions of the railroad, and art devoted to Slaves risking everything during their exodus to the free state of Kansas.

The Big Muddy Speakers Series in Kansas City

is hosted by Friends of Lakeside Nature Center, Little Blue River Watershed Coalition, Missouri River Relief Friends of Big Muddy and Healthy Rivers Partnership with the following list of partners. All speakers are presenting for free. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us!

Click here for a list of upcoming presentations»

The Big Muddy Speaker Series is also held monthly in Rocheport and St. Charles.

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