Monday, June 10, 2024

Paducah Flood Wall Murals

Paducah, Kentucky was founded in 1830 on the western bank of the Ohio River. It became an important steamboat port city and a railroad hub exporting tobacco, whiskey, timber, produce, iron, and coal. A earthen levee protected the city from flood water but in 1937 the river rose 50' above flood stage and covered 90% of the city. The water didn't recede for nearly three weeks. The flood wall that now protects the city was built by the Corp of Engineers over 10 years between 1939 to 1949. The wall follows the river in the center of the city and then curves inland at the north and south ends to partially enclose the city.

A three block section in the center of the city has been painted with over 50 beautiful murals depicting the history of the city. They aren't in any particular order so it doesn't matter where you start when viewing them. Interpretive plaques have a short description of the events in each mural.There's also a walkway on the river side of the wall that goes north for about 1/2 mile. 

There isn't a sidewalk at the north end of the wall for the first four murals. After that the sidewalk is in good condition for the rest of the mural wall. The plaques are at ground level and easy to read. The river walkway is accessible. 
 We parked in the large framer's market lot at the north end of the mural wall. Walking/rolling in the street or crossing to the other side of the street is necessary due to the lack of sidewalk at the first four murals.  There is also free parking on most of the city streets. Sidewalks and curb cuts are in good condition. Wall  37.08925, -88.59577