City Hall located at 300 South 5th Street opened in 1964. The building and grounds, which encompass a city block, are accessible with a ramp on the South 5th Street entrance and an elevator. The building has three levels (two main floors and a basement). For more information about the existing building's history, architecture, and departments visit About Paducah City Hall.
The City of Paducah is pleased to receive the notification from the Kentucky Heritage Council that City Hall located at 300 South 5th Street is now listed on the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places. City Hall was nominated under Criterion C which focuses on the design, architecture, and construction of the building. The National Park Service officially listed City Hall on July 13, 2017. (View ‘Weekly List for July 14, 2017’ at http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/nrlist.htm to see listing.)
Mayor Brandi Harless says, “City Hall is a piece of the heritage of Paducah that we feel a responsibility in honoring and saving. This listing on the National Register of Historic places allows the City to apply for historic tax credits through the State of Kentucky which would be used to help fund Phase IA of the building’s renovation.”
Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.
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 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.
Included in the nomination application for City Hall is a Statement of Significance paragraph. A portion of the paragraph is as follows:
Referred to as a “shrine to Democracy” the building symbolizes the prevailing will of the citizens of Paducah and three administrations committed to renewal and economic resurgence of the City. The building became the face and new image of the city and a symbol of progress under Paducah’s Local Urban Renewal Program and the Federal Capital Grant Program for Urban Renewal under Title I. With the design of an internationally known architect, and the most prominent representation of New Formalism design in the city of Paducah, the property is also architecturally significant evaluated within the historic context of New Formalism Architecture in Paducah, Kentucky 1960-1965. The building resulted from a highly successful collaboration between a prominent architect and a City determined to express its distinct identity through a landmark civic building. The building’s striking design-employing the classical symmetry, colonnaded portico and geometric elements-displays Paducah’s most accomplished instance of New Formalist design. The Period of Significance begins in 1963, the original construction date and runs until 1965, when the building’s construction was complete. The property’s significant period continues to contribute to the architectural environment of the City of Paducah as an unprecedented local architectural monument and a symbol of mid-century progressive movement within local government into the present.
As part of the nomination process, the City of Paducah made presentations and allowed for public comments before the Historic & Architectural Review Commission (HARC) on November 14, 2016, the Paducah Board of Commissioners on November 29, 2016, and the Kentucky Heritage Council Historic Preservation Review Board on December 12, 2016. The Kentucky Heritage Council Review Board approved Paducah's application that was forwarded to the National Park Service for final determination.
The City of Paducah contracted with Marcum Engineering for the engineering design for the first phase of City Hall rehabilitation. Phase IA included the rehabilitating and improving of City Hall’s roofing membrane, concrete overhang (canopy) through steel beam stabilization of roof cantilevers, façade, heating and cooling systems, skylights, windows, and exterior doors. The estimated cost for design services and construction along with a construction contingency was approximately $4.9 million. A contract was approved January 23, 2018, with A&K Construction in the amount of $4,293,781 for the project. Five changes orders have been approved for the project as well. Taking into account the cost reductions and increases due to the five Change Orders, the total contract with A&K currently is $4,165,285.
The contractor began working March 4, 2018 and was significantly completed in mid-February 2019. An Unveilng Ceremony was held May 2, 2019 for the community. Funds identified for the project including using a combination of anticipated historic tax credits, the remaining funds from the City Hall visioning and design project with RATIO, and reserve funds from the General Fund and Solid Waste Fund.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a $337,000 contract for architectural and engineering services with Marcum Engineering for the City Hall Phase I project. Phase I will include the rehabilitating and improving of City Hall’s roof, concrete overhang (canopy), façade, heating and cooling systems, and windows. The estimated cost for design services and construction along with a construction contingency is approximately $4.9 million. The goal is to complete the design and bidding process so that the construction for Phase I can begin early in 2018.
In a presentation to the Paducah Board of Commissioners at its April 19, 2016 meeting, Planning Director Steve Ervin provided opening comments including a timeline of the process since 2014 regarding the City Hall Project. Last year, the City engaged RATIO Architects for the project. Over the past several months, RATIO’s design team has worked with the elected officials, city staff, and the City Hall Schematic Design Advisory Group to complete an in-depth process of visioning, programming, pre-design, and schematic design for two design options: rehabilitation of the existing City Hall and construction of a new building. The key outcomes for either City Hall design is that the building
1) Improves the customer experience
2) Improves city staff functionality
3) Energizes the Civic Zone District of downtown
4) Provides a modern, adaptable workplace for 50 years, and
5) Contributes to Paducah’s identity and culture.
RATIO held meetings with staff and the City Hall Schematic Design Advisory Group on November 17-18, 2015; January 5-6, 2016; and February 3, 2016. A public meeting was held March 21 to solicit feedback on the schematic designs. RATIO’s work also includes a master plan of Dolly McNutt Memorial Plaza.
Rob Proctor and Brooke Funkhouser with RATIO Architects attended the meeting and provided an overview of the two schematic designs and the preliminary conceptual cost estimates. Regarding the dual pathway of design, Proctor says, “That’s a very unique process, one that we embraced whole-heartedly.” Funkhouser says, “This needs to be a place that you remember. It’s a government building. It’s a civic building.” Proctor adds, “We are celebrating government through the vehicle of design.”
The rehabilitation option involves stabilizing the existing City Hall’s canopy, improving its seismic stability, and rehabilitating its mechanical elements. The Commission Chambers would be moved to the first floor. The rehabilitation also incorporates glass on the interior to improve departmental communication and functionality and to increase customer service and way-finding. The departmental configuration would be adjusted to look at shared spaces and increase the number of departments that could operate from the building. The preliminary cost estimate for the rehabilitation is $18 million. That number includes a cost to temporarily relocate the staff during construction.
The new building option involves the construction of a four-story structure on the city-owned property on Clark Street that faces Dolly McNutt Memorial Plaza. Funkhouser says, “We selected a site that basically completes the Civic Center Zone quad.” The exterior design uses a variety of materials including metal panels, glass, and stone. The sun angles also were taken into consideration. Funkhouser says, “We want to have this building stand on its own but be respectful of the Edward Durell Stone building.” This design also places the Commission Chambers on the first floor with a pre-function space and gallery area. The preliminary cost estimate for the new construction is $18.5 million. That number includes an estimated cost of $590,000 to stabilize the current City Hall until a new owner or purpose could be determined.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners expressed their appreciation to the City Hall Schematic Design Advisory Group and applauded the professionalism and work completed by RATIO. Commissioner Richard Abraham commented that the next step is to decide which option is the best for the City and how to fund it. Mayor Gayle Kaler agreed with the concern about funding. Kaler said, “I think we have to look at our budget. In my opinion phasing in is the way to go, but how do we plan that out, and will it increase costs over time?” Kaler added, “What’s critical to me right now is the stability [of the existing building] and the safety issues.” Commissioner Wilson said, “It would be hard to walk away from this building unless it had a new owner who had a grander vision.”
The City of Paducah invited the public to attend a meeting to provide input and learn about the two proposed schematic design options for the City Hall Project. The public meeting was held Monday, March 21 from 6:30 until 8 p.m. in the Commission Chambers on the second floor of City Hall located at 300 South 5th Street.
At the public meeting, representatives of RATIO Architects and the City Hall Schematic Design Advisory Group presented two design options for the City Hall Project: a rehabilitation approach and a new building approach. A three-dimensional model of the rehabilitation approach was available in addition to digital representations of both options. The public provided input by completing a comment card for the scenarios and providing feedback on how each option relates to a set of values.
In October 2015, the City contracted with RATIO Architects to provide design and architectural services for the project. RATIO, the City Hall Schematic Design Advisory Group (a citizens advisory group appointed in November 2015 by the Paducah Board of Commissioners), and city staff have been studying a dual pathway of options for either rehabilitating the existing structure at 300 South 5th Street or designing a new City Hall. Both design approaches have been created to meet a set of values and provide a modern workspace that will serve the City over the next 50 years.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved at the October 20, 2015 meeting an ordinance for a contract with RATIO Architects to provide design and architectural services in an amount not to exceed $1.622 million for the City Hall project. At the November 10, 2015 Commission meeting, Mayor Gayle Kaler named the six members appointed to the City Hall Schematic Design Advisory Group. The members are Joe Benberry, Fowler Black, Steve Ervin, Lindsey Maestri, Bill Renzulli, and Hall Sullivan. This group will work with RATIO Architects as they develop two schematic design options for City Hall. RATIO held its first meetings with the Advisory Group and various City staff November 17-18, 2015.
A request for qualifications for architectural and design services was issued in May 2015 with four proposals received by the May 26 deadline. The City Hall Advisory Committee interviewed all firms in July with RATIO as the recommended company. The advisory committee was comprised of City Commissioners Carol Gault and Allan Rhodes, City Manager Jeff Pederson, Planning Director Steve Ervin, PRDA Executive Director Steve Doolittle, and City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy.
RATIO will pursue a dual pathway by providing information for the rehabilitation of the existing facility and the construction of a new facility. RATIO will look at designing a facility that will include the departments currently in City Hall and the possible addition of the Information Technology Department. The scope does not include the addition of police or E911. RATIO will facilitate decision-making workshops and civic engagement and provide design schematics, 3D renderings, interior planning, landscape planning, cost estimates, code reviews, ADA accessibility reviews, and construction and bid documents. Regarding the option of a new building, three sites in the Civic Center Zone are being considered. The sites are the existing city hall location at 300 South 5th Street, Dolly McNutt Memorial Plaza, and a site that straddles South 5th Street between the existing facility and Dolly McNutt Memorial Plaza.
RATIO is partnering with the following local companies: Peck, Flannery, Gream, Warren, Inc.; Bacon, Farmer, Workman Engineering & Testing; and Marcum Engineering. RATIO expects to utilize approximately 20 weeks to complete the design phase and the development of the final option. Then, RATIO would need another approximately 20 weeks to prepare the construction documents, bid out the project, and initiate construction with construction to be completed in 2018. Visit www.ratiodesign.com for information about the company.
Sharon Poat representing Paducah-McCracken County Growth Inc., an organization that has been in existence since 1980 focusing on economic development and historic preservation, invited James Mason, Ph.D. P.E. to provide an analysis of the existing City Hall structure. Dr. Mason provided alternatives for retrofitting the canopy of City Hall and increasing the building’s seismic strength. Dr. Mason says, “There is a definite issue in the original design of this building.” He proposes adding reinforcing steel into all of the canopy’s beams and recommends using the company, The Structural Group, to perform the work. He says The Structural Group is the premier company for concrete reconstruction and has completed work on the White House. Regarding seismic strengthening, Dr. Mason recommends using a technology called base isolation which separates the base of the structure from the ground and places it on a flexible structure known as a base isolator. Buildings utilizing base isolators move little or not at all during an earthquake. Dr. Mason says the cost to strengthen the canopy would be $1.1 million with the cost to seismically strengthen the building at $2.21 million for a total cost of $3.31 million. Dr. Mason says these options would not change the exterior of the building and would not require the building to be vacated during work. Sharon Poat says, “This current proposal keeps so much of the building’s fabric intact.” Commissioner Richard Abraham says, “There’s a lot of history in this building. If we can make it more functional without tearing it down, now’s the time to look at that.” Mayor Gayle Kaler says, “This, I think, is something that we can consider.” The Paducah Board of Commissioners are interested in seeing a cost estimate utilizing these structural options in addition to the costs of system (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc.) and interior renovations. Also, at this time the City has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for architectural services for the construction of a new City Hall. The deadline to submit the RFQ is May 26.
Planning Director Steve Ervin provided the Mayor and Commissioners with a site selection process developed to help make decisions regarding the City Hall project. At the November 18, 2014 City Commission meeting the elected officials approved a motion to proceed with preliminary design to construct a new city hall building in the Civic Center Zone which is the zone that includes and surrounds the existing facility. Ervin says, “Primarily all the dense land uses in the Civic Center Zone are government or quasi-government agencies.” A portion of the description of the Civic Center Zone states that the zone provides a separate and compact area for cultural and governmental services, gives the city more effective visual relationships in and around the downtown area, and provides in the design of the civic buildings and open spaces a physical point for urban aesthetics and civic pride.
Since the November meeting, the Planning Department developed a site selection process that involves scoring a site from one to nine regarding ten criteria. A score of one is Exceptional while a score of nine is Poor. The criteria are as follows: zoning, land area, visibility and prominence in the Civic Center Zone, parking availability, pedestrian availability, vehicular accessibility, impact on government services, construction costs, obstacles to proceed, and utility relocation. City Manager Jeff Pederson says, “I think that the work done was representative of a pretty complete assessment of the government plaza, and I think the criteria were typical of what is considered in site selection.” Five sites were rated in the Civic Center Zone: the existing site, the city-owned parking lot at 5th and Clark, Dolly McNutt Plaza, the Post Office location, and a site that straddles 5th Street between the existing facility and Dolly McNutt. Ervin says the City directors met in February to score each site and come to a consensus. The existing site received the best score with a new city hall straddling 5th Street receiving the second best score and Dolly McNutt Plaza coming in a close third. The Mayor and Commissioners approved a motion to proceed with the development of a request for proposals for architectural and engineering services to design a new City Hall. The top three sites in the Civic Center Zone are all being considered. The selection of a site is not crucial at this point since the design and building footprint would be similar due to the close proximity of the three sites. The RFP process and the subsequent design process will take approximately a year. Looking ahead to the future and if the need arises for employees to vacate the existing building during construction, the City has identified the former social security building on the 400 block of South 7th Street, which currently is vacant, as a temporary location for City services.
Public Information Officer Pam Spencer summarized the results from the citizen engagement process for the City Hall Project. From August through mid-September, the City requested public input through a designated Facebook page and email address regarding five values for the City Hall Project: image, customer experience, functional building & workspaces, sustainability, and siting impacts. A weekly news release focusing on a single value was issued during the six week engagement period. The City received a total of 103 comments from 80 different commenters. Spencer provided examples of some of the comments. One of the first decision points in the process of moving forward in the project is the decision whether to renovate the existing City Hall or pursue another option. Regarding the public comments, 64 people addressed that issue with 72 percent in favor of building a new city hall or renovating a different building. Only 28 percent were in favor of renovating the existing City Hall. Another decision point is location. Should city hall remain in the civic center zone which encompasses several blocks around the existing site and Dolly McNutt Plaza or should city hall be moved to another location such as along Broadway? At the end of the presentation and after much discussion by the City Commission and the City Manager, the City Commission approved a motion to proceed with preliminary design to construct a new city hall building in the civic center zone. A contract for design services and consultation will be brought before the Commission in the near future.
During a six week period in August through September 2014, the City asked for citizens to provide their input about the five values for the project. Information was accepted by email email@example.com or through a designated Facebook page Paducah City Hall Project Facebook page. A weekly news release was issued focusing on one value to continue the encouragement for the community to participate.
The information was presented at the November 18, 2014, City Commission meeting.
The City Commission and the department directors held a workshop to begin providing input regarding the City Hall Project. City Manager Jeff Pederson says, “This is a huge undertaking, a huge decision, that should be done for and with the public.” Pederson adds, “We are very determined to get this process right for this project.” The group focused on providing thoughts on five project values: customer experience, functional building and work spaces, siting impacts, image, and sustainability. Today’s input process involved each member of the group rotating between five tables dedicated to one of the values. A ten-minute discussion period was allowed at each table with a staff member recording the comments and ideas. The input from the City Commission and directors will be combined with input from the public to develop guiding principles for the project which will help steer the work of the City Hall Working Group once it is organized.
The City wants input from the public regarding the City Hall Project and the five values. Please visit the City Hall Project Page, email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post comments on the new Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PaducahCityHallProject. The public has through September 14 to provide input regarding the five values.
Background: At their May 20, 2014 meeting, the Board heard a presentation about City Hall’s conditions from Baccus Oliver, a professional engineer with Marcum Engineering. Over the past few months, Marcum Engineering; Bacon, Farmer, Workman Engineering; and Peck, Flannery, Gream, Warren worked together to conduct an assessment of City Hall’s structure, layout, security, seismic upgrade requirements, and renovation possibilities. The study shows that the 61,000 square foot building which opened in 1964 is showing significant deterioration in its concrete roof canopy and with many of its electrical and mechanical systems. To protect the safety of the employees and citizens, access to the building is limited to the 5th Street entrance. Also, barricades have been placed around the building limiting access under the concrete roof canopy which is deflecting or sagging nearly 9 inches at its corners.
City Manager Jeff Pederson led the Mayor and Commissioners at their June 3, 2014 meeting through a discussion regarding the next steps in the process regarding the future of Paducah’s City Hall. Pederson showed flow charts outlining the interconnected concepts that need to be managed and addressed in this process. Pederson says, “It is not a simple process to go about a potential rebuild of City Hall or a new City Hall. It is a public building.” The large-scale decisions to be determined are either renovating the existing building and to what degree or determining a location and design for a new facility. Pederson recommends compiling a small group of staff and citizens to be known as the City Hall 2050 Working Group with the responsibility of working through the decision-making process and incorporating citizen engagement. Pederson says, “This process begs for inclusiveness, but at the same time, it needs guidance and to move forward.” Commissioner Sandra Wilson says, “It’s a large expenditure. We need the public’s input.” The 2050 in the group’s name refers to renovating or building a City Hall to last decades and to being ready for the future needs of the community. The group would make recommendations to the City Commission. Commissioner Richard Abraham adds, “It’s insightful to think ahead regarding technology. This process is appropriate to get citizen input. It’s City Hall. It’s a public building.” Pederson says, “It pays to think ahead intelligently, to not design a city hall for today but for the future.” The process involving the City Hall 2050 Working Group could take approximately six months once the members are named.
Background: At their May 20 meeting, the Board heard a presentation about City Hall’s conditions from Baccus Oliver, a professional engineer with Marcum Engineering. Over the past few months, Marcum Engineering; Bacon, Farmer, Workman Engineering; and Peck, Flannery, Gream, Warren have worked together to conduct an assessment of City Hall’s structure, layout, security, seismic upgrade requirements, and renovation possibilities. The study shows that the 61,000 square foot building which opened in 1964 is showing significant deterioration in its concrete roof canopy and with many of its electrical and mechanical systems. The estimate, which includes a significant contingency figure, to completely renovate the building and bring it up to modern seismic standards is more than $15 million. To protect the safety of the employees and citizens, access to the building is limited to the 5th Street entrance. Also, barricades have been placed around the building limiting access under the concrete roof canopy which is deflecting or sagging nearly 9 inches at its corners.
At their May 20, 2014 City Commission meeting, the Mayor and Commissioners heard a presentation from Baccus Oliver, a professional engineer with Marcum Engineering, regarding the study conducted by Marcum Engineering; Bacon, Farmer, Workman Engineering; and Peck, Flannery, Gream, Warren Architects on City Hall. Over the past few months, the companies have worked together to conduct a needs assessment of the building’s structure, layout, security, seismic upgrade requirements, and renovations. Specifically the study included an architectural spatial analysis, a structural analysis, mechanical and electrical assessments, and a conceptual cost estimate.
City Hall opened in 1964. However, in just 14 years, the building started showing structural issues regarding its massive concrete canopy which is sagging five to nearly 9 inches at each of its corners. In 1978 an engineering assessment indicated that the underside of the large roof canopy was showing deterioration. A 1979 study recommended replacing the roof. A 2010 study by Apex Engineering sited similar roof problems. In the building’s 50 year lifespan, there a have been improvements in the HVAC system and the elevator; however, very little has been done to the building structurally including its roof or to its interior. The building does not meet modern seismic standards since hose standards did not exist when the building was designed. One positive note is that City Hall is nearly 61,000 square feet in size which is more than enough space. The spatial analysis indicates that City Hall activities need a space for departments and storage that totals nearly 51,000 square feet in size.
The immediate recommendation is to restrict employee and visitor access under the canopy area. The analysis also recommends initiating the removal of the concrete roof canopy and replacing it with a lighter material. To remove the canopy, the building would have to be evacuated while the work took place. If the City wants to bring the facility up to seismic standards, it would involve reinforcing the structure by strengthening approximately 50 percent of the exterior walls and removing the floor to ceiling windows. A conceptual cost estimate and general timeline were provided. The cost for the demolition of the roof canopy, structural repair, and roof replacement including seismic upgrades totals more than $5 million. Renovating the interior including building layout and functionality, electrical and mechanical upgrades, contingency, and engineering costs would bring the total project to an estimated $15.6 million. The planning and design for the project could take 9 months with a construction time of 13 to 16 months. The City Commission would like to have general cost estimates for a new facility. City Manager Pederson asked the City Commission to forward their questions to him, and he will forward to the companies that conducted the analysis in an effort to gather as much information as possible before a decision is made. Pederson also says temporary City Hall locations are being researched.