A collaborative young couple has brought a historic brick beauty on Third Street back to LIFE
By Darlene Mazzone
In the middle of a pandemic, in the heart of downtown Paducah, in a structure whose windows have witnessed the centuries-long trajectory of this mighty little river town, two talented young entrepreneurs have brought a brick beauty back to life.
Wil Robinson grew up in Paducah and spent lots of time downtown as a kid. “I remember when I was maybe 13 or so, we actually rented this very condo for the BBQ On The River weekend. For as long as I remember, I have always wanted to have a historic building downtown, and purchasing this one is truly a full circle moment.”
Kyle Spivey hails from South Carolina so his past is informed with the same stately architectural styles as the historic building the guys recently embraced with their unique approach to interior design.
When the two met in Los Angeles, Wil was working for a public relations firm and Kyle was doing design for the popular TV show “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.” A perfect combination, you say? Why yes, it was in fact. Not only did these two find a relationship, they founded a business. Wil and Kyle have created a successful collaboration, which has resulted in an Airbnb business that has reached from the Hawaiian Islands to Historic Charleston. “When we started Airbnb almost a decade ago it was a very new concept,” said Kyle. “So we acquired a property in L.A. and placed it on this new platform, taking advantage of the ever-expanding reach of the company. That was the beginning of more than a dozen properties at one point on both coasts.”
Wil and Kyle have since honed their properties to a perhaps more manageable number, their newest being The Dim Light in downtown Paducah.
“We were here last summer and heard about a property that the city was selling surplus property for a bargain, and we put a bid on the lot, but we lost it,” said Wil.
Then the developing duo heard about the building for sale on Third Street and their innovative engines began to churn. Supportive city grants gave them the impetus to go forward. They drew up some dramatic designs that have ultimately culminated in a setting that both tips its hat to its historic roots while incorporating a modern aesthetic that is appealing to a wide range of guests.
“My Grandmother’s family used to have a little bar in my hometown called The Dim Light,” explained Kyle, “and we decided that was the perfect name for our Paducah downtown guest house.”
The lights, however, are anything but dim. Every corner of this eclectically crafted space brims with bright lights and bold statements. “A few years ago “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” had a charity auction on Hollywood Boulevard and we were able to purchase several neon signs that were used on their film set” says Kyle. “It’s definitely my favorite pieces in the house. I love that you can see them from the street while walking by.’”
“We’ve always wanted to do a black house,” adds Wil. “Black is an old color with a new viewpoint. We loved having the opportunity to work with the black exterior and then to bring that upstairs to the guest space as well.”
Exposed original brick provides a vintage backdrop to sleek styles in furnishings and accents. A multi-hued candy bar adds a pop of color for online viewings AND a fun family amenity for those with a sweet tooth. Black velvet theater seats flank the large dining table and classic black and white framed photos connect the restored space to its local surroundings. “I love these photos,” adds Kyle. “They are images from a 1950s article on Paducah from TIME Magazine. And we found the theater chairs at “The Shed” and had them restored. “The Shed” is our favorite spot to browse in town.”
Resurrecting this 19th century structure in the time of COVID was a bit of a shopping challenge. “So many places were closed,” adds Wil. “But we have a pretty eclectic stash of items that we continually collect, so we were able to draw on some of our finds to complete the look we were after.”
The piece de resistance, however, has to be the outdoor roof top theater. “This space was just begging for something fun and unique,” says Kyle. “So we decided to simulate the experience of the vintage drive in. The chairs have license plates on the back, and we accented the wall with gold painted hubcaps.” The mid-century font style of the building’s new moniker, which adorns the patio wall, was styled after the original Paducah Drive In.
“We are really excited to see how many people have already found The Dim Light and enjoyed the experience,” comments Wil. “To our surprise most of our guests have been from out of town and have had no connection to the community. They have told us that they saw the listing on Airbnb, loved the look of the space, and the idea of visiting a town they’ve never been to before. We are hoping that The Dim Light can help to continue the renaissance along Third Street as yet another destination in our new neighborhood.”
Fan Fare for the Dim Light!
“We loved staying at the Dim Light in Paducah and are planning another trip this fall. The outdoor rooftop deck was perfect for a family movie night and the hosts even have a popcorn machine and a candy bar set up for movie snacks!”
-Brittany, August 2020
“The space was beyond my expectations and was perfect for the weekend. We loved everything from the décor to the location.”
-James, August 2020
“The style and size of the condo was perfect! Loved the high ceilings, décor, and technology. We would love to stay again.”
-Tammy, July 2020
“This is an incredibly cool and well appointed condo perfectly located in the downtown district of Paducah. Couldn’t have been better!”
-Heather, July 2020
“Great loft in a fun downtown location. Lots of games and books around. Loved the kitchen. Had a great time hanging out on the rooftop deck.”
Jenni, July 2020