A big part of the beauty, uniqueness, and vibrancy of a town like Paducah lies in the preservation of its historic structures. Our old buildings not only give homes to businesses, but they also house our pasts and our traditions, and whenever possible, should be maintained for future generations.
Twenty years ago, while practicing law in Henderson, Kentucky, my big brother, Greg Jones, a great friend of ours from church, David Todd, and I decided to try and buy an old theater building in downtown Henderson. The building was five stories tall with a jittery elevator and bad parking lot. Greg, David and I were in our thirties. Our father, Paul Jones, had just retired from working at a local power company. He joined us in our venture probably out of fatherly concern and because we needed a fourth investor to pull together the down payment.
After the purchase, we spent weekends pulling up carpet, painting walls, fixing an old elevator, etc. A few years later, in the process of selling part of the old parking lot, we acquired some additional buildings and resorted to the same weekend behavior with additional downtown buildings. Through a collaborative effort of all, it has worked out. Fortunately for us, my brother continues to live and work in Henderson. He does what big brothers do, take care of things. As of today, that little investment group of thirty-something amateurs has renovated four downtown buildings that now serve as home to about twenty downtown businesses.
I got the preservation bug again in 2010. With our law firm being in downtown and in need of expansion, my law partner, Rick Walter and I embarked on renovating 412 Broadway and joining it to the building he had previously remodeled.