The Bottoms: A Place We Once Called Home

Memoir of life in “The Bottoms”, as the neighborhood I grew up in was known.

Author: Thomas Rodriguez
Published by: Jack Cobos Design & Publishing
Graphics and layout: Jack Cobos Graphics
Printed: Josten’s Printing & Publishing, Inc., January 2012
ISBN: 0-9852825-7-6
Photographs: 520
Pages: 214

This book tells the story of the Bottoms neighborhood and the people who lived there beginning with the birth of the Bottoms in 1857, the early struggles of Mexican immigrants who settled there in the early years of the last century, the devastating impact of the Great Depression, the hardships of World War II on Topeka’s Mexican community, what life was like for young Mexican-American boys growing up in Topeka during the 1940’s and 1950’s, the Great Topeka Flood of 1951, the birth of Rock N’ Roll in Topeka, an examination of the race and ethnic diversity that existed in the Bottoms, and a detailed year-by-year chronology of Topeka’s Urban Renewal Program and how it lead to the forced relocation of all of the residents of the Bottoms and the demolition of their neighborhood.  The book contains 520 photographs of hundreds of people who lived there and of many of the buildings and businesses that once existed there.  Sadly, the existence of that once vibrant neighborhood is now relegated to history and to the memories of those former residents who once called it their home.