Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kansas City River Market

Just north of downtown Kansas City, between Interstate 70 and the Missouri River, is the neighborhood known as River Market.  It was first known as Westport Landing.  This is the original and oldest part of Kansas City.  In the early to mid 1800's, this area was the location of the docks where people and supplies were off-loaded from boats on the Missouri river.  Most were then transported a few miles south to Westport, which at the time was a starting off point for the Oregon Trail and the Santa Fe Trail.  The area around the docks began to be developed, including a public square.  Part of the square became the location of a farmer's market.  Soon warehouses and sales stalls were built. You can still walk around and buy fresh produce in this same area today.  You work your way through a series of covered walkways along the front of the warehouses.  

I took the photo here during our most recent visit in April, at about the halfway point around the warehouse stalls.  You can see even in just this one area there is a wide variety of food to choose from.  There are also people with booths selling jewelry and other artistic objects.  There are some shops you can wander through.  There is also the Steamboat Arabia museum.  The Arabia was a steamboat that sunk nearby in the river in 1856.  It was dug up and restored in the late 1980's. The whole area around the River Market is made up of really cool old buildings, most of which are being renovated into loft apartments.  One building housed a law firm, and while we were there I noticed several of the employees working in the small yard on a Saturday doing some landscaping.  There are some great views to the south of the skyline of Kansas City, too.  All in all an interesting place to visit if you're ever in K.C. 

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