Kentucky Derby Museum Will Be Closed Through 2009

KENTUCKY DERBY MUSEUM WILL BE CLOSED THROUGH 2009 September 17, 2009 by derbymuseum The Kentucky Derby Museum will remain closed through the rest of 2009. We have learned that every exhibit on the main floor of the museum was affected by the flood on August 4, 2009. Exhibit fabrication specialists predict that full restoration of the exhibit spaces to their original condition would take at least three more months. The museum leadership awaits further estimates by insurance adjusters and contractors before moving forward.

“We have been coping with the effects of this flood for a month and a half now. It’s been difficult on our staff and frustrating for fans of the Derby Museum. We continue to offer tours for the public but not being able to share the fun and excitement of the Kentucky Derby with visitors from around the world is disappointing to us. We’ve got a great team and the insurance companies along with the crews they’ve sent to support us, have helped us keep a positive outlook during this trying situation,” says Lynn Ashton, Executive Director of the Kentucky Derby Museum.

To date: 27,457 items have been lost and submitted as claims to the insurance companies. These items include office supplies, furniture, damaged items from the gift shop and retail items from the online catalog department along with alcohol used by the Derby Café for events. 13 full-time staff members were displaced from their offices and seven staff offices along with other storage and meeting rooms were destroyed.

An additional: 2,493 items from the collections and archival research departments had to be let go due to significant water damage. Most of the items lost are not considered irreplaceable but still represent a significant portion of the museum’s research materials. These items include photographs, historic newspaper clippings, race meet programs, racing forms, chart books and other historical records. Inventory on the full collection has not yet been conducted and more damaged items may be discovered during that process.

On Thursday, August 17th research materials from the Kentucky Derby Museum’s collection will be returned to the archives shelves following the recent installment of new tile flooring and drywall. Museum staff will begin moving more than 2,900 books, hundreds of video tapes and thousands of equine-related magazines at about 9:30 a.m. EST. This event is open to the media until 11:00 a.m. EST. Images will be posted on the museum’s flickr photostream: by 11:00 a.m. EST.

Insurance estimates for damage and cleanup costs remain at more than 4 million dollars. The Kentucky Derby Museum will have to pay about $100,000 in deductibles and will continue to incur a substantial loss of revenue during the closure.

The Kentucky Derby Museum invites visitors to enjoy complimentary tours which continue to operate out of the Churchill Downs Gift Shop located through Gate 17 of Churchill Downs. Barn and Backside Tours are available daily for $10 a person and a fully operational gift shop is also running out of this location.

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