Date of release: August 30, 2017
The City of Paducah is pleased to receive notification from the Paducah Board of Realtors regarding a Creative Placemaking Grant award in the amount of $4000. The Paducah Board of Realtors applied for the grant through the National Association of Realtors (NAR) for the development of the Art Park at 432 Broadway. The funds will help pay for materials and the installation of a collaborative art piece.
Patrick Humphrey, association President with the Paducah Board of Realtors, says, “Communities that offer a variety of public spaces such as pocket parks, greenway trails, and community gardens are often more desirable making them better places to live, buy a home, and invest.”
According to the NAR, the Placemaking Grant’s goal is to transform underused or unused public spaces into vibrant gathering places accessible to everyone in a community. The grant funds focus on smaller, less expensive projects that can help enhance a neighborhood and encourage additional public spaces to be created in a community.
The small, corner lot at 432 Broadway is a vacant city-owned space in historic downtown Paducah.
In 2016, the City completed the demolition project for the building that was at 432 Broadway. The building posed a critical safety hazard and had to be carefully demolished. Over the past year, City staff reviewed options for the small space and decided that due to property’s narrow size, infill construction is challenging leading to the development of a creative public space as a good option.
City Manager Jeff Pederson says, “I praise the Planning Department staff for reviewing options and for their vision for this park. It’s difficult for a community to lose a downtown building; however, this challenge has been turned into an opportunity to create an asset downtown. This corner lot will be interesting with a sense of place about it.”
The park’s components include a sign at the corner identifying the park, two pergolas, lighting, charging stations, landscaping, artwork, and bench seating. Bids are expected to be advertised for the park’s construction either late this summer or early fall.
In addition to the Paducah Board of Realtors, the City of Paducah has been working with several other partners in the park’s development. A sculpture made last year by Paducah School of Art & Design students is in storage for the park. Furthermore, the Yeiser Art Center and MAKE Paducah coordinated a community art project involving the painting of small squares that once installed, will reveal a larger image that displays an aspect of Paducah. Paducah Bank has committed $7,500 as a park sponsor. Various garden clubs have expressed interest in sponsoring a bench, planter bed, or similar park component, and Four Rivers Behavioral Health has expressed interest in becoming an adopt-a-spot partner.