Two homes remain in artist relocation program

The Artist Relocation Program that helped bring life back to Paducah’s Lowertown is in transition. People who live there are working with the city to figure out the next steps for the neighborhood, because there are only two homes left that qualify for artist incentives. One of those houses up for grabs is a historical treasure.

Walking in to the Smedley-Yeiser house built in the late 1800s is like taking a step back in time. Downtown Development Specialist Melinda Winchester said, “This house is probably our most significant historic house that we have in Lowertown, not only because of its age and when it was constructed and its history, it is still architecturally intact to that date.”

The Greek Revival style architecture remains along with some of the original light fixtures and fireplaces. Winchester said, “This property’s a little bit unique.” It was originally built by a ship captain. The rooms have been home to former Mayor David Yeiser and the Alben Barkley museum. Now, Winchester said they are looking for a special owner that will turn the old home into something special too.

A dollar doesn’t seem like much, but it could buy you the chance to turn the historical home into your dream. “I think it would be a great end use for a law firm, accounting firm, some kind of commercial use like that… or even for a couple looking to move to Paducah and live here and have a wonderful historic house,” Winchester said.

Every bid for the property has to come along with a plan to fix it up. “This isn’t gonna be a renovation that will be quick and easy to do. It has to be what’s the best use for the structure and the neighborhood too,” Winchester said. It’s an area where people are looking ahead to the next chapter while appreciating the past.

The other property the city is taking bids on is at 421 North Fifth Street. Anyone interested in either property can submit their bids and renovation proposals to the city at any time. The Smedley-Yeiser home is eligible for historic tax credits. Winchester said she is familiar with the process to get those, and can assist people with that.

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