West Bottoms Stakeholders Weigh Historic District's Revival - and Future

KCUR’s Gina Kaufmann moderates a conversation among young stakeholders about the revival of Kansas City’s West Bottoms and what the future may hold for an area that has emerged as a destination for restaurants, art studios, vintage shops, and other businesses.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Program: 
6:30 pm
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RSVP Required

As underscored by The Huffington Post six months ago, when it named Kansas City one of America’s “coolest” cities, things are looking bright for the onetime cowtown. While much of the buzz is about downtown’s revitalization, the historic West Bottoms has slowly and quietly undergone its own transformation over the past decade, emerging as a destination for restaurants, art studios, vintage shops, and other businesses.

What is behind the revival, and what does the future hold for the West Bottoms? Gina Kaufmann, host of KCUR’s Central Standard, moderates a timely conversation with local stakeholders.

Joining Kaufmann in the discussion:

•   Kara Hess, a graphic designer and developmental marketing specialist who owns Dazium Design Solutions.
•   Adam Jones, an architectural designer and developer specializing in preservation and restoration.
•   Amy Kligman, an innovation leader at Hallmark Cards and co-founder, co-director and curator of the PLUG Projects exhibition space.
•   Vladimir Krstic, an architecture professor at Kansas State University and director and CEO of the Kansas City Design Center. He received the Downtown Council of Kansas City’s Urban Hero award in 2014.

Co-presented by KCUR Generation Listen KC and the Young Friends of the Kansas City Public Library.

Mon, 03/09/2015
Steven Woolfolk
West Bottoms Stakeholders Weigh Historic District's Revival - and Future

(Kansas City, Missouri) - Parallel to downtown's revitalization, Kansas City's historic West Bottoms has slowly and more quietly undergone its own transformation over the past decade. Many of the old brick buildings that once housed factories, meatpacking plants, and offices for stockyards and railroad operations are now home to art studios, restaurants, antique shops, and other retail businesses.

What is behind the revival, and what does the future hold for the West Bottoms? Gina Kaufmann, host of KCUR's Central Standard, moderates a timely conversation among stakeholders on Thursday, March 19, 2015, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. The presentation, Forward Promote: The Future of the West Bottoms, begins at 6:30 p.m.

Joining Kaufmann in the discussion:

  • Kara Hess, a graphic designer and developmental marketing specialist who owns Dazium Design Solutions.

  • Adam Jones, an architectural designer and developer specializing in preservation and restoration.

  • Amy Kligman, an innovation leader at Hallmark Cards and co-founder, co-director and curator of the PLUG Projects exhibition space.

  • Vladimir Krstic, an architecture professor at Kansas State University and director and CEO of the Kansas City Design Center. He received the Downtown Council of Kansas City's Urban Hero award in 2014.

The panel will assess the West Bottoms' relevance today and how connected it can and should remain to the area's 1800s and early- to mid-1900s heyday. What is the appeal to small businesses and the increasing number of artists settling there? Where are the new opportunities for residential and other business development? To what degree is the Bottoms' fate tied to the fate of Kemper Arena and the retention of the American Royal?

Forward Promote is an ongoing series of public forums presented by KCUR's Generation Listen KC that spotlights local issues, in particular those of interest and importance to young Kansas Citians.

This event is co-presented by Generation Listen KC and the Young Friends of the Kansas City Public Library, and is one of two spotlighting the West Bottoms - past, present, and future - during the week. On Sunday, March 15, 2015, Jackson County Historical Society Executive Director Steve Noll examines the area's origins and growth into a once-vibrant community of cowboys, stockyards commission men, meat packers, railroaders, and assorted hangers-on. The 2 p.m. program at the Central Library is part of the Missouri Valley Sundays series.

Admission to both events is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th and Baltimore.

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