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Arts & Culture

Paducah Bank Joins Forces In Columbia Art House Restoration Project

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Submitted by Darlene Mazzone
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Columbia Art House Restoration Project

Paducah Bank is partnering with the Columbia Art House Restoration Project to provide financial assistance and security by utilizing historic tax credits.

A release issued by Darlene Mazzone, Chair of the Columbia Art House Restoration Project board, stated Paducah Bank is purchasing the historic tax credits and issuing the working funds to the theater. 

 

“We are so grateful for this public/private partnership,” Mazzone wrote. “This allows Paducah Bank to take advantage of this opportunity and it provides much-needed funding for our Columbia restoration project. Consequently, both entities gain a financial advantage all the while taking steps forward to preserve this masterpiece in our midst.”

 

Mazzone explained the Kentucky Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), an agency of the Kentucky Tourism Arts and Heritage Cabinet. The Kentucky Heritage Council is charged with identifying, preserving, and protecting the historic resources of Kentucky. 

 

“Its mission is to partner with Kentuckians to strengthen preservation networks so that our historic places are valued, protected, and used to enhance the quality and economy of communities like Paducah,” Mazzone added.

 

Melinda Winchester, a member of the Columbia Art House board and a Relationship Manager for Paducah Bank, is credited with creating the application for the Columbia and providing the liaison between the two entities. 

 

“This is a classic case for historic tax credits,” Winchester said in a statement. “The use of historic tax credits encourages the adaptive reuse of historic buildings in all contexts and also supports the idea of these types of projects being a key part of a community’s public policies.”

 

Mazzone said the landmark building was built in 1927 and has been closed since 1987; the project has been the recipient of several local, state, and national grants and became a signature mission of Paducah’s Main Street nearly nine years ago. 

 

“Our current goal is to simply save the building and then take steps to develop its potential as a viable operation in the future,” she wrote. “It would be a complete travesty to lose this magnificent structure in the heart of our historic district.” 

 

The release noted this preservation project is yet another investment by Paducah Bank in the development of Paducah’s downtown culture; Paducah Bank was instrumental in the creation and support of the Artist Relocation Program. 

 

Joe Frampton with Paducah Bank said in a statement: “Paducah Bank has been a foundational part of this community since 1948. In every facet of our lives here for 73 years, the leadership of this community bank has chosen to look beyond the activities of our daily operations to see how we can facilitate the future of the place we call home.”  

 

More information about the Columbia Art House Restoration Project is available here.

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