Our Amazing Architecture

2013 March/April Edition

By the end of the Civil War the Italianate style was becoming more popular across the country–and especially in Paducah. Many buildings built from the 1860s to the 1890s were designed using this popular style that references classical details that were reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance architecture of the 16th century. The mass manufacturing of cast iron and pressed metal at this time made the decorative elements of this style readily available. Paducah is fortunate to have several fine examples of both commercial and residential Italianate architecture.




The Cohen Building at the corner of 2nd and Broadway is one example of this style of commercial architecture. Built around 1870 this building has many of the typical Italianate features. The cast iron storefront, pressed metal window hoods, and cornice are all attributed to Paducah’s own Linning and Jackson Foundry. The Linning and Jackson trademark can be seen in the sills on the 2nd Street façade. Also seen on the 2nd Street face, the building has a typical post and beam construction that allowed for large expanses of glass. These large windows were very valuable for displaying the goods of the first floor merchants. The painted brick façade is embellished with other typical Italianate features such as decorative metal work around the arched and round windows as well as the intricate cornice (on the Broadway façade).


Other fine examples of commercial and residential Italianate buildings can be found at the following locations: 107 South Second, 123 North Second, 126-128 Broadway, 210 Broadway, 304 North Sixth, 502 North Sixth and 305 North Seventh.

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