By WestKyStar & City of Paducah Staff
The City of Paducah received notification from the Paducah Board of Realtors that a $4000 national grant has been approved to develop the Art Park at 432 Broadway.
The small, corner lot is a vacant city-owned space in historic downtown Paducah.
The park’s components will include a sign at the corner identifying the park, two pergolas, lighting, charging stations, landscaping, artwork, and bench seating. The grant, acquired through the National Association of Realtors, will help pay for materials and the installation of a collaborative art piece.
Bids are expected to be advertised for the park’s construction either late this summer or early fall.
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.
Paducah Board of Realtors president Patrick Humphrey said, “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.”
City Manager Jeff Pederson said, “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.”
In addition to the Paducah Board of Realtors, the city 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.