Initial Meetings with Rhodes Heritage Group to Develop Recommendations for Preserving and Stewarding Historic Assets in Paducah

Date of release:  October 14, 2022

This month, the City of Paducah signed a contract with Rhodes Heritage Group to begin developing a plan of recommendations for preserving and stewarding several historic and cultural assets in Paducah.  These iconic assets include the Hotel Metropolitan, Stuart Nelson Park and the legacy of Dr. Stuart Nelson, Columbia Theatre, and Oscar Cross’ home.  Furthermore, Rhodes Heritage Group will recommend approaches to preserve the character and community history of the Southside region of neighborhoods.

This week, Monica Rhodes, Rhodes Heritage Group founder and president, met with members of the Paducah Board of Commissioners, the City Manager’s office, Planning and Parks & Recreation department directors, and the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau to launch the project.  The firm also met with local stakeholders to gather pertinent information about the iconic assets.

Mayor George Bray said, “Paducah’s history is incorporated in these buildings and locations.  We want to be proactive in creating a preservation plan that will be a guide for those who are passionate about the future of these assets in order that they become a larger part of the ongoing cultural landscape of Paducah.  Protecting key historical and cultural resources is a Paducah Board of Commissioners’ priority.  With the assistance and experience of Rhodes Heritage Group, our goal is to assist local boards, executive directors, and key stakeholders by providing a path forward, an approach, that will preserve and honor Paducah’s unique pieces of history.”

Monica Rhodes, who recently received the prestigious Adele Chatfield-Taylor Rome Prize in historic preservation and conservation, has 15 years of preservation experience.  Rhodes said, “We are excited to support the preservation of these important historic resources in the City of Paducah. We look forward to partnering with members in the community and the city to collectively envision the future of these sites.”

Over the next few months, Rhodes Heritage Group will engage key stakeholders in the Paducah community to complete a final report that will include recommendations for stewarding the four preservation projects, revitalization tactics for the Southside region of neighborhoods, and the identification of additional sites significant to Black history.  The final report will be presented to Paducah early in 2023.

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