Paducah Main Street Director/Downtown Development Specialist Melinda Winchester updated the Paducah Board of Commissioners on the progress of nominating Paducah’s City Hall located at 300 South 5th Street to the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places. A similar presentation was given November 14 to the Historic & Architectural Review Commission (HARC). The application has been prepared with Winchester on track to make the presentation about City Hall on December 12 to the Kentucky Heritage Council. City Hall is being nominated under Criterion C which focuses on the design, architecture, and construction of the building.
In the presentation, Winchester discussed the history leading to the construction of City Hall. Discussions of a new City Hall began in the early 1950s. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Paducah was following the lead of other cities by rebuilding, rebranding, and revitalizing its image. Construction of Paducah’s City Hall began in 1963 with a dedication ceremony held February 28, 1965. Edward Durell Stone, one of the foremost architects of the mid-twentieth century and considered the founder of the New Formalism movement, designed the building with the assistance of local architect Lee Potter Smith. Stone also designed the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Radio City Music Hall, the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, and the U.S. Pavilion for the Brussels World’s Fair. Several of his buildings have features that resemble Paducah’s City Hall such as symmetry, columned porticos, connecting plazas, gardens, and water features.
If the nomination process is successful, the City then will be able apply for historic tax credits through the State of Kentucky which would be used to help fund Phase I of the building’s renovation. Phase I includes the exterior stabilization of the canopy and the rehabilitation of the roof. Fowler Black, representing Growth, Inc., spoke in favor of nominating City Hall to the National Register and the subsequent possibility of receiving historic tax credits to help subsidize the renovation costs.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a municipal order assigning the name of the roadway in front of Wilson Stage along the riverfront between Broadway and Kentucky as PJ Grumley River Drive. A dedication ceremony was held November 25. A bronze plaque that will be embedded in the roadway has been designed. In addition to serving as Paducah City Commissioner from 1975 to 1998 with seven years as mayor pro tem, Grumley owned and operated Burger Chef restaurants from 1962 until 1988. Grumley served terms as president of the following organizations: Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, Retail Merchants Association, St. Paul Lutheran Church, and the Lion’s Club. Grumley, 90, died April 7 at Superior Care Home.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance to amend the termination date for the non-exclusive franchise agreement between the City of Paducah and Comcast Cable. This ordinance would extend the franchise agreement, which expired earlier this month, through April 11, 2017. The City has entered into negotiations with Comcast for a new franchise agreement.