Items at the Kentucky Derby Museum, located on the grounds of Churchill Downs, suffered damage due to heavy rains Aug. 4 and the facility will be closed until further notice, museum officials said.
The Louisville, Ky., area received more than six inches of rain in one hour Aug. 4, causing widespread flooding. One of the areas hardest hit was the historic racetrack property. The track was inundated with water, the paddock filled, and cars in the parking lot were covered. Several barns of horses were moved to a nearby training facility.
At the Derby Museum, personnel found water gushing into the lower level, unfortunately where the collections and archives are stored.
“We had just undergone a $200,000 renovation to organize, catalog, and get everything on shelves,” Wendy Treinen, director of communications for the Kentucky Derby Museum, said Aug. 5. “This was the main area where the the collections, archives, and artifacts were stored. It was like a geyser coming out of the ceiling.
“We moved everything to two rooms where we could put everything on tabletops. We are speaking to experts now. The insurance adjuster arrived at 8 a.m., and the conservator will be here to go through the collection and advise us.
“Our biggest concern is the research materials and old books. May of those got wet. We will take those items to cold storage to freeze for three months. Some leather goods also got wet.”
Treinen said staff members assisted guests who were at the facility when the rainstorm hit.
The museum, she said, will be closed for “an extended period of time.”