Scores of Paducahans have made the area their primary residences, and of these, some have given their urban homes a folksy touch with gardens, courtyards or balconies. You are not likely to find corn growing atop a roof, but you might find beds where tomato plants and beans thrive. And of course, potted flowering plants add color and cheer.
Beverly McKinley is a longtime downtown resident. She has owned property in the area for over 25 years. If you want to know who lives where, ask her; she is property manager for several downtown buildings. Her first investment was the building at 2nd and Broadway originally known as the Sinnott Hotel. Three years ago she relocated to 205 North Second Street, to a 3,000 square foot condominium constructed by builder Keith Petraitis. In doing so, she traded the exciting view of the Ohio River for more space and more peace and quiet. Her balcony does not offer the spectacular view she once enjoyed, but it is much more serene.
“I love the view of the quilt museum,” she said. “I get to watch the visitors that go there.”
McKinley’s balcony is brightened with a red patio umbrella, red potted geraniums, and multi-colored cushions on a garden bench. Potted palms thrive here, as does her Jack Russell terrier “Ray Charles.”
“He loves it here,” she said.
When Allison and Pat Humphrey moved downtown from their West End home, they gave up a yard where trees, shrubs and flowering plants flourished. They had decided to move when they were in the process of converting the third floor of the building they own at Broadway and South 3rd Street into rental apartments.
“We kept looking at this space,” she said from their second floor residence, “and thought what a great apartment it would be.”
There was one drawback: They would miss their garden.
“We’re big ‘outdoors’ people,” Allison said, “we enjoy hiking and camping.”
Allison’s mother, Martha Sanders, came up with a solution: Knock out a couple of windows facing Broadway and move the exterior wall to create a balcony that would provide an “outdoorsey” atmosphere. They can now enjoy the color of flowering plants as well as herbs, topiaries and other greenery. And, in summer, the balcony is a great place for people watching on Saturday night.