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Central City, Ky Part I (Downtown neighborhoods)

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This is it. This is Central City, Ky on Thanksgiving Day 2005. It was dead out, not to mention cold too. So there won't be many people nor much traffic. Perfect conditions to shoot a picture essay.

I was born in Owensboro, but lived all of my life until I was 21 in Central City. Went to school there, got in trouble there, had friends there, almost died there. To me, it is the best place on Earth. It is my confort zone. When Nashville torments me and all that goes with it eats away at my soul, I can go home and be at peace with my surroundings, myself, and my life. It is a slower pace. A more deliberate pace of life in this small town. And like many other small towns across the country, it has seen its better times. Nevertheless, the city is embarking on a bit of a renaissance in its life. The old Wal-Mart shopping center is 100% full! New hotels are springing up on the southern side of town out by the Western Kentucky Parkway and restaurants are opeing now. The city is home to a Wal-Mart Supercenter, Peebles, Tractor Supply, and both a Family Dollar Store and a Dollar Store. Blockbuster just recently opened in downtown with a new mini shopping strip. The city is also home to a Community College Branch, National Guard Armory, Days Inn, Super 8 Motel, and a soon to open Best Western Hotel. This is increadible for a city with only 5,600 people in it. I guess haveing TVA and a state prison helps too huh? Oh, did I mention that it is home to NASCAR racing team, BREWCO Motorsports?? They sport two cars on the Busch series with David Green and Greg Biffle as drivers. The team always finishes in the top ten in points each year.

Here is a list of restaurants (fast food) that Central City has:



Burger King

Long John Silver's



Pizza Hut

Godfathers Pizza


Sonic Drive-In

Huddle House

Domino's Pizza

Dairy Queen

We even feature casual dining downtown at the Purple Onion restaurant. The cities first sports bar and casual dining restaurant all in one. The bar is on the second floor of a re-done building and the restaurant is on the first. Elegant decor surrounds you in the first floor while a grand staircase takes you to where the action is when the University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball team is playing. Oh yeah, for those of you that follwo SEC Basketball, Patrick Sparks (UK Point Guard) is from Central City. Basketball is king in this part of the state. Central City High School (no longer around) is still to this day the second most winningest high schoold basketball team in the COUNTRY! Right behind Ashland High School.

As you can tell, I have a lot of pride in my town. And rightfully should! I love it. To me, it is where the midwest meets the south in the state of Kentucky. Through these pictures you will see why I say that. Believe me, you will never look at Western Kentucky the same way after this thread. Now.........

Welcome to Central City, Kentucky. Home of the Everly Brothers and THE home of Bluegrass Thumbpickin'.

A map of Central City from Google Maps.


This is the Muhlenberg County campus of Madisonville Community College. Its plans are to become its own college in the future.


Some of the newer housing stock. This is not all, just a taste of it in Greenwood Estates.



My favorite:


Another angle of it.


Leave the subdivision and you see this awesome looking (and working!) farm right in the middle of town.


Coming into town from the south on US 431 just past the Western Kentucky Parkway interchange.


First stoplight you come to. Pointing north.


Just to your right at the stoplight is the all important McDonald's.


Heading up 2nd Street (US 431) into the downtown area. You see the IGA on the left and the DQ in the distance with the viaduct for the Paducah & Louisville railroad in the background. This is one of the main drags in town.


To my right before entering the via duct is this ugly shopping center. But hey, it serves its purpose and cleaned up and industrial blight when built.


The via duct. I hated marching through here during the Christmas Parades. So LOUD!!!


Pop out on the other side and you see the new Blockbuster and Bluegrass Cellular (rumored to become a Verizon Wireless).


Downtown from in front of Sonic.


First Baptist Church is a brownstone!!!! WOW!!!!


This is the older, more midwestern housing stock of Central City. Some of these houses date back to the very early 1900's. There are a considerable amount of bungalows both one and two story in Central City. I think I got the best in this thread for you.



The historic Sears and Roebuck house(1 of 2 in the city!). It was bought out of a Sears catalouge back in the early 1900's!


Highrise living. Not exactly, but it is the closest thing they have.


More brownstones and bungalows.




Central City Catholic Church. A member of the Owensboro Diocese. Remember, Catholic churches are not big in the south.


Continued.........................................(downtown and environs next!!!)

Click for part II:

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EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have never had the opportunity to see Central City! Definately cool, reminds me in some pics of Fulton, some of Mayfield, and some of Cadiz....or I guess it just reminds me of Western KY. LOL Awesome pics!!

Off to the other parts!

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Thanks for the kind words. I agree that there should be more of these on here. Especially in the Kentucky section. It has some splendid small towns in the state.

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Fantasic pictures!

That area looks beautiful, and it looks like a perfect example of a quaint southern town.

I have a cousin who moved to Madisonville,KY recently, and he has sent me many pictures of the surrounding areas, it looks beautiful! I really hope that I will be able to go up and check out Western Kentucky soon.

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^ Thanks. Madisonville is only 20 miles from Central City. I came through there on Thanksgiving and noticed that the Tornado did quite a bit of damage on the outskirts of town. Very humbling to say the least on a day that we should be thankful.

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Nice shots.

If those 2 story houses were really, truly, Midwestern, they'd have an enclosed front portch and be wrapped up in vinyl siding--like 90% of them up here in Minnesota (almost no brick up here). :lol:

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^ LOL! You got a point, but there is a bunch of those too. I just was too lazy this day to get into much detail. LOL!!!

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Central City always brings a smile to my face.

Let's face it, the town won't win any beauty pageants but that is beside the point. Growing up in Russellville, we would occasionally drive all the way to Central City just to go cruising. On Friday night, the strip would be loaded with obnoxious teenagers with nothing to do. Lots of hot Southern Girls shouting out 'Hey Baby!' when we would drive by.

Speaking of hot girls. Back in the day, Central City's band had the most bad ass flag corps in the state. BIG hair, tight black spandex outfits, and raunchy Janet Jackson routines.

Sorry for getting off the subject there. I guess I just got a little too excited. lol!

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Vertigo, I remember the days of the band in Central City. my sister was in Muhlenberg Central's band and Central City was always a topic of discussion.

You know, they have now outlawed cruising in Central City. Too bad too, the Sonic Drive-In days were fun for me when I was 16.

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^ When I turned 20 I got married (now re-married) and moved to Lexington after my 21st birthday. Of course I am now 26 so it has been a few years since I could call Lexington home.

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