In 1962, the City and County governments adopted a plan for the creation of “a new, well-planned, well-designed city hall” - it was to be “a symbol of Paducah’s economic resurgence”.
After more than fifty years of use City Hall needed serious renovation. An architecture and engineering rehabilitation project was approved to preserve this historic building which is located at 300 South 5th Street. Work began on March 4, 2018.
The renovation is now complete and the public is invited to the Paducah City Hall Unveiling Ceremony on Thursday, May 2 at 4 pm. The event is a celebration for all Paducah’s citizens. Everyone is invited to view this iconic building and enjoy music, food, guest speakers.
Dogwood Trail art and photography will be on display and the Civic Beautification Board will present the annual Dogwood Trail awards at the event. The music will be provided by the Paducah Singers with food by Artisan Kitchen. (A & K Construction is generously sponsoring the food.)
Paducah Mayor, Brandi Harless, will be conducting the ribbon cutting ceremony and speaking briefly at the unveiling.
Paducah City Manager Jim Ardnt, explained that the building needed to be preserved and restored so that it retains its 1960’s, mid-century personality. The project has cost more than $4 million. Ardnt hopes the building will make people proud of their city hall and all the work that was done.
A model of the new city hall shows the whole building’s layout from room to room. It also shows the new atrium addition that is in the center of the building and a planned patio area that will surround the building.
“The history of what makes Paducah, Paducah. And the buildings, the character and the charm, you know if you go to the downtown area and see the architecture, it’s just fantastic,” Ardnt said. “We want to encourage everyone to come back and see the work that was done. We’ve made a big investment to protect the building.”
Evening Upstairs @ McLib – May 2
The Man Behind City Hall: Edward Durell Stone
Led by Melinda Winchester, Historic Preservationist
If you want a more detailed history of Paducah’s City Hall and the architect who designed it, come to May’s evening Upstairs talk at the Paducah McCracken County Library. The program starts after the unveiling at 7 pm.
The program, will be led by Historic Preservationist Melinda Winchester. Winchester will provide an engaging presentation on world renowned architect Edward Durell Stone, his famous works, and fascinating career.
Winchester has worked extensively throughout Missouri and Kentucky preserving architectural resources through National Register listings and historic tax credits. As the Downtown Development Specialist for Paducah she was instrumental in obtaining the National Register listing for city hall.
Winchester has an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Historic Preservation.
Paducah City Hall
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Paducah was following the lead of other cities by rebuilding, rebranding, and revitalizing its image. Construction began on a new City hall 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.
Paducah's City Hall is a concrete structure covered by stone. It has unique features including large exterior columns. The lighting around the exterior of the building makes City Hall appear like its floating. The top of the building has a pyramid-shaped "lantern" that points 20 feet toward the sky (40 feet above the ground level).
The exterior is a graceful blend of old South, modern, and classical styling with the columns more of a Graeco-Roman era and Southern Colonial. The eaves provide a large shaded porch that protects the windows from direct sunlight. The cantilevered porch prevents heating and cooling units from being on the roof.
Inside City Hall, the emphasis is on lighting and openness with no dark hallways. The inner court (atrium) is a 60-foot square with a sunken fountain. The fountain area now holds greenery. The offices are on the exterior walls of the building to take advantage of the windows and the atrium area.
The National Park Service officially listed City Hall on July 13, 2017.