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Wall to Wall in Paducah

By Linda Tancs

One of UNESCO’s Creative Cities, Paducah, Kentucky, is graced with a floodwall that protects its historic downtown from surges of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers. But as you might suspect, this isn’t just an ordinary floodwall. Like Portsmouth to the north, it includes a number of painted murals. In fact, three city blocks (at Water, Jefferson and Washington) boast more than 50 life-sized panoramic murals by renowned artist Robert Dafford and his team, representing such crowning moments of the city’s history as its role in the riverboat trade and the day in 1803 when the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery passed by Paducah on their trek to find the Northwest Passage. Guided tours are given on request.

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