West Bottoms is an industrial area immediately to the west of
downtown Kansas City, Missouri, at the confluence of the Missouri
River and the Kansas River. The area is one of the oldest areas of the
West Bottoms is still home to several industrial buildings
today, its antique shops and haunted houses are very popular.
Additionally, there are several art galleries and restaurants located
in the West Bottoms, and a few companies have offices in the area.
The Kansas River, which runs nearby, is used for rowing, canoeing, and
Kansas City's first Union Depot was located here. It was home to the
Kansas City Live Stock Exchange
Kansas City Live Stock Exchange and
Kansas City Stockyards
Kansas City Stockyards (now
defunct) prompting the huge annual
American Royal livestock show at
Kemper Arena, the site of the 1976 Republican National Convention.
The low-lying area has been prone to floods including the Great Flood
of 1951 and the Great Flood of 1993.
Jim Pendergast founded the political machine here that was furthered
by Tom Pendergast.
Tom Pendergast was an early supporter and promoter
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman in Jackson County and Missouri politics. Truman
would later become President as Vice-President under Franklin D.
Roosevelt, upon Roosevelt's death in April 1945. Jim started
operations at the "Climax" Saloon on St. Louis Avenue named for a
winning race horse he had bet on.
World War II
World War II Darby Steel Corporation built most of the Landing
craft tanks (LCTs) that were used in various amphibious invasions. The
plant built one craft a day and floated them more than 1,000 miles
down the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans, Louisiana,
prompting their "Prairie Ships" nickname. Darby's plant at the mouth
Kansas River could hold eight 135í LCTs and 16 LCMs in various
stages of construction.
Many Serbians arrived in the early 1900s and found work in the meat
packing houses in the area. The Serbs founded St. George Serbian
Orthodox Church on April 18, 1906. The community purchased two houses
on North 1st Street. One was converted to a church and the other used
as a parish home. The parish stayed in the
West Bottoms until 1925
when they built a new church on Bethany Street still in Kansas City,
Kansas. Today, the parish is located in Lenexa, Kansas, having built
their third location in 2006.
Jim Pendergast Climax Saloon
Livestock Exchange Building Commercial Website
Coordinates: 39°06′10″N 94°36′12″W / 39.102755°N
94.603441°W / 39.