New site focuses on Porter Farm area around 27th and Troost

Mansions once lined Troost Avenue north of 31st Street in the Porter Farm Historic Preservation District. A new website celebrates its history and invites new residents to share their stories.

While luxury homes, redeveloped commercial buildings, and new families are moving into Kansas City’s central core, the rich history of the Porter Farm District is in danger of being overlooked, demolished and ever lost to history. I’ve teamed up with William Session, a Kansas City resident who grew up in the area, on the new Porter Farm District Preservation Project. Our goal  is to gather existing history of the area and encourage residents – former and current – to share their interest in the area that began as the Porter Farm.

This area of the city is full of fascinating history. Joseph Smith and his Mormon followers met and camped there in the early 1830s. Then The Rev. James Porter family acquired the land in 1834, establishing a large plantation and growing a variety of fruits. It became known as the Porter Farm; five generations of the Porter family lived in the original and subsequent iterations of farmhouse near what is now 28th and Tracy Avenue. After the Civil War, the Porter family began selling off parcels of the property, attracting well-off Kansas Citians who were beginning to move south. For a while Troost Avenue north of 31st, the area became known as “Millionaire’s Row” because of the mansions built there.

Troost evolved into a major streetcar route and eventually the mansions were replaced by commercial buildings serving the many new residents of the area. Neighborhoods now known as  Beacon Hill, Longfellow, and Mount Hope grew quickly in the 1920s.

We hope you’ll add your memories, photos, and stories about this unique area of Kansas City, whether you grew up there, passed through, or have just moved in. Please visit the site and let us know what you think.


  1. J scott says:

    Are they any relation to the prter family of Platte county?

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