Paducah, originally called Pekin, offers a history and culture as deep as the rivers that surround it, and is as beautiful and culturally diverse as ever. Located at the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio rivers, Pekin was a mixed community of Native Americans and European settlers. This cultural interaction continued until William Clark, famed leader of the Lewis and Clark expedition, arrived in 1827 with a title deed to the land. He named the land Paducah and set out to design the historic city you see today.
Ravaged by a flood in 1937, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was commissioned to build a flood wall after the earthen levee proved ineffective. Buildings in the Renaissance District still bear plaques that highlight the high water marks.
The continued success of Paducah is largely due to the community's embrace of the arts. Like many small towns around the country, when the shopping mall opened near the interstate, Paducah's downtown was threatened. The difference is that Paducah realized the importance of its culture and historic architecture and put in motion visionary rescue efforts rooted in fine art and preservation. Paducah is now quickly becoming the newest cultural destination in the country.
Paducah, Kentucky is a small river city with a big heart, an unusual intellect, and an eye for the arts.