Paducah's River Setting, Arts Scene and Educational Appeal Attract Newcomers

With its majestic setting at the juncture of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers, a good quality of life, vibrant arts scene and excellent schools, locals and new residents make themselves right at home.

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On Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 17:22
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When it comes to Paducah, people are sold.

With its majestic setting at the juncture of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers, a good quality of life, vibrant arts scene and excellent schools, locals and new residents make themselves right at home.

That’s been true since the first settlers came to what was then known as Pekin about 1815. Paducah’s convenient location was a draw then and now.

The Kentucky city has a rich past, and many of its historic buildings are being restored in the downtown and LowerTown areas. Twenty blocks of downtown Paducah are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2000, Paducah started its Artist Relocation Program, which has brought some 70 artists to LowerTown to live and work from all parts of the United States. It’s economic redevelopment and arts enrichment all in one package.

Paducah Main Street Inc., a 501(c)3 organization, was formed in 1989 to focus on revitalizing the city’s downtown. Since then, more than 60 living units above storefronts have been developed, with more on the way.

The strong arts presence, including the new Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center, the Market House Theatre, the Paducah Symphony Orchestra and countless museums and galleries, give Paducah a cultural edge that residents appreciate and support.

In addition, the business climate is good and outdoor recreational opportunities abound. Affordable housing is also helpful. The estimated median house/condo value in 2005 was $59,900. The average selling price for homes in McCracken County in 2005 was $226,794 and the average value of a 2,400-square-foot home in the county that year was $158,750, according to figures form the Greater Paducah Economic Development Council.

Housing on golf courses is also available at Rolling Hills Country Club, the Country Club of Paducah and Drake Creek, a new development on the Tennessee River with not only a golf course, but also a marina.