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Five local finds at West Bottom’s First Fridays

Have you ever wondered about the history behind the antique treasures at West Bottoms warehouses? Here are the stories of five Kansas City picks.

A sunlit building in West Bottoms.

The right development will make this neighborhood’s hundred-year history shine. | Photo by @mikedayphotography

If you’re the kind of Kansas Citian to hear “First Fridays” and think 8 a.m. antiquing in the West Bottoms, this edition of KCtoday is for you.

To celebrate the year’s first chance at temperate treasure hunting, Editor Maddie rolled into this weekend with a mission in mind: pick out five items from the rust and dust with a Kansas City story to tell.

Crossroads’ Film Row

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KC’s status as a railroad hub made it an easy choice for Hollywood execs looking to stash their film. | Photo by KCtoday

These industrial reels look to be leftovers from the Crossroads’ former iteration — Film Row. When Hollywood needed distribution centers across the country in the early 20th century, railroad hub Kansas City was a no-brainer. Now, you can still find the remnants of these silver screen storage houses fluttering out a few blocks around Wyandotte Street and 18th Street.

Whizzo’s wonderland

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I’m glad he’s smiling... because I’m sure not. | Photo by KCtoday

Former circus member Frank Wizarde was a Kansas City celebrity from 1955 to 1987 as “Whizzo the Clown.” His after-school show on KMBC 9 featured plenty of classic clowning interspersed with cartoon shorts. His face was even used to advertise bread and other goods in the metro.

George Brett’s historic hit

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Wanna feel old? Hall of Famer George Brett retired in 1993... that’s over 30 years ago. | Photo by KCtoday

Take a look at this time machine. The Kansas City Star newsstand charged 35 cents a paper... but what about that sign? Hall of Famer George Brett was on his way to 3,000 hits — a history-making moment he achieved on Sept. 30, 1992.

KC’s oldest fine jewelers

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You can find this hidden gem at Stuffology (1323 W. 13th St.). | Photo by KCtoday

This unassuming sign used to welcome locals looking for sparkle and shine into the metro’s oldest fine jewelry store. Ruback, established 1908, has operated storefronts in downtown, the Plaza, Prairie Village, and most recently, Overland Park, where you can still schedule an appointment to shop at 7317 W. 79th St.

Historic hooch

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No hooch remained in this bottle, but you can still buy your own online or at the distillery. | Photo by KCtoday

It might not look like this, but you can still get yourself some McCormick Distilling Company corn whiskey. The Weston, MO mainstay is the oldest distillery west of the Mississippi River still operating in its original location.

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