Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chicago Tribune discovers Paducah, Ky., which has turned itself into a tourist 'touchstone'

About a decade ago, a dilapidated town of 26,000 ridden with drug dealing and prostitution began re-examining and renovating its image. Today, the effort has paid off. Josh Noel reports for the Chicago Tribune that the quilt capital of the world, Paducah, Ky., has traded in its broken sidewalks and ghoulish mood for a tourism industry that hinges on the city’s new cultural scene.

(Paducah Sun photo) With the help of the Artist Relocation Program, the Lowertown neighborhood has lured artists and craftsmen to the area, and the city’s downtown has been revitalized in the past ten years. So many repairs have made that the town is now a haven for retirees and tourists. Noel reports that Bill Renzulli, now a resident and a retired doctor from rural Maryland, was charmed by Paducah. When he and his wife visited in 2001 -- long before the renovations were complete -- they were smitten with the vision the town’s officials had. "They were very -- I don't want to say charismatic -- they were enthusiastic.”

That enthusiasm carried the renovation efforts. Today, restaurants, art galleries, cafes and cozy lodgings make the vitality, economy and culture of Paducah extend beyond quilts.
"When I got here, there was nothing. It's grown by leaps and bounds,” Hannah Grey, a musician, told Noel. “Now people are coming from all over the world to" -- she pauses as if she can barely believe it -- "Paducah." (Read more)

1 comment:

Sophie said...

Paducah is fantastic! It's been such a blessing living here, everyone should visit!