Baptist Health Founders Room opens in The Coke Plant

November 29, 2016

To celebrate national #GivingTuesday, Baptist Health opened the new Baptist Health Founders Room today at The Coke Plant as a community space available for holiday and other events.

To celebrate national #GivingTuesday on Nov. 29, Baptist Health opened the new Baptist Health Founders Room today at The Coke Plant as a community space available for holiday and other events.

Today marks the country’s fifth annual #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, to kick off the charitable season when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

“It is appropriate to open on #GivingTuesday to celebrate our hospital’s gift to the community and to remind us all of the many opportunities to give back,” said William A. Brown, president of Baptist Health Paducah. Several hospital supporters and community partners gathered today for the opening.

The Baptist Health Founders Room was named to honor founders of the hospital, its foundation and the Coke Plant. “We are proud of our heritage and grateful to those who came before us with a strong vision for our future,” Brown said.

Seven visionaries who started the campaign in 1945 to open the hospital in 1953 are honored on a plaque. They are Dr. Charles Shields, Dr. H.M. Stembridge Jr., Lance Dossett, Malcolm P. Wallace, W.A. Blackburn, Dr. A. Mack Parrish and Rev. George Phillips.

Individuals, groups and businesses may rent the room, and the room may be offered at a reduced rate as an in-kind donation to qualifying non-profits. The hospital has designated the Baptist Health Foundation Paducah to receive any proceeds from the rentals.

“We want to make this historic space available to our many hardworking non-profit organizations that benefit our community in so many ways, but often don’t have adequate space for their meetings or events,” Brown said.

Baptist Health also is honored to support the Midtown area development. “In 1993, some 40 years after our hospital opened in Midtown, our board committed to stay in this area rather than move out to the suburbs,” Brown said. “Over the years, we have invested to expand our hospital into a regional medical center here. Our heart is here, so this thriving Midtown economic development is important to us.”

The Baptist Health Founders Room, renovated by Baptist Health, is on the second floor of what is still known as “The Coke Plant,” dating to its 1939 beginning as Luther F. Carson’s Coca-Cola Plant. The room was the late Mr. Carson’s office, overlooking the historic rotunda inside the building and the Broadway-Lone Oak Road intersection through multiple picture windows.

The building, at 3121 Broadway, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Renovated in 2014 by Ed and Meagan Musselman, it is the home of Dry Ground Brewing Co.; Pipers Tea & Coffee; and art, music and yoga studios. It soon will house the Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant and Socially Present marketing agency.

Musselman said he is proud of the Baptist Health partnership. “They have made Mr. Carson's office beautiful again,” he said. “We are grateful for their willingness to invest and participate in the community around them on so many levels."

Baptist Health Foundation Paducah will manage the room reservations. For information on booking meetings, receptions and other events, phone 270.575.2871.