The Hotel Metropolitan
One of Paducah’s most treasured historic and cultural landmarks: the Hotel Metropolitan. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, the Hotel is an African American history museum on the site that served as lodging for African Americans in western Kentucky during the era of racial segregation. The Hotel’s proximity to performance venues along the “Chitlin’ Circuit” during 1940s-1960s meant that famous African American musicians stayed at the Hotel, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, B.B. King and Ella Fitzgerald. The Upper Town Heritage Foundation in Paducah has secured funding of almost $1 million over the last 15 years to save the Hotel, and opened it as a museum in 2008. The Hotel Metropolitan first opened in 1909 and remained open to the public until the 1990s. The cultural and historical significance is immense to the regional black community as it was one of the few local venues outside of churches where African-Americans could safely meet and gather during racial segregation.