DescriptionPaducah (puh-DOO-ka), at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers, was named by its founder, Gen. William Clark—of Lewis and Clark expedition fame—who named the settlement after the Padouca Indian Nation. A statue at Jefferson and 19th streets crafted by noted sculptor Lorado Taft honors the legendary and peaceful Chickasaw Indian leader Chief Paduke.
A series of colorful floodwall murals painted by internationally recognized artist Robert Dafford and the Dafford Murals Team give an account of the city's history; the murals are downtown between Kentucky Avenue and Jefferson Street.
A memorial statue of Alben W. Barkley, a native son who served as U.S. vice president under Harry Truman 1949-53, is at 28th Street and Jefferson Boulevard. Also notable is the city hall at 300 S. 5th St.; the building, a replica of the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, India, was designed by noted architect Edward Durell Stone.
Bob Noble Park, 3 miles northwest on US 60, has a medieval gate, winding driveways, a lake with a fountain, an outdoor theater, a swimming pool, picnic tables, a children's playground, a jogging trail, a skate park, disc golf course, tennis courts and a basketball court; phone (270) 444-8508.
Quilters from around the country converge on Paducah in late April for the American Quilter's Society Quilt Show & Contest. More than 500 quilts are displayed at the event, which also features vendor booths, a quilt making school, an auction and awards. Paintings, jewelry and other arts and crafts can be found in the colorful studios and galleries lining the streets of the 26-block LowerTown Fine Arts District, located in one of Paducah's oldest neighborhoods. The Carson Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Kentucky Ave., offers traveling Broadway hits, theater, dance and musicals. Historic restoration in downtown Paducah is evident in the Historic Market House Square area. The Market House Theatre, 141 Kentucky Ave., hosts plays and musicals with local actors.
The Hotel Metropolitan, 724 Jackson St., was run by an African-American woman, Maggie Steed, in 1909; the hotel closed in 1996. The hotel has attracted such distinguished guests as musicians Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and B.B. King, Major League Baseball Hall of Famers James “Cool Papa” Bell, Josh Gibson and Leroy “Satchel” Paige and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. The building now houses a museum with permanent exhibits focusing on African-American heritage, area history and the hotel's prominent guests; its rooms are furnished in varying periods to depict how they may have looked during the hotel's operation. Tours are available by appointment; phone (270) 443-7918.
Visitor InfoPaducah Convention & Visitors Bureau 128 Broadway PADUCAH, KY 42001. Phone:(270)443-8783 or (800)723-8224
ShoppingKentucky Oaks Mall, with more than 100 shops, including Best Buy, Dillard's, Elder-Beerman, Gander Mountain, JCPenney and Old Navy, is at I-24 exit 4. The historic downtown, midtown and southside areas offer antique shopping and specialty boutiques.
Things to SeeNational Quilt Museum of the United States