LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 22, 2018) — The Kentucky Derby Museum will receive $100,000 towards its $6.5 million expansion campaign from Churchill Downs.
“We are truly honored by the continued support from our neighbors, Churchill Downs. Without their amazing collaboration and cooperation we could not offer the unique, bucket-list experiences that we do each day for our guests,” Kentucky Derby Museum President and CEO Patrick Armstrong said. “As an independent 501(C)3 nonprofit organization, we genuinely appreciate all that Churchill Downs has done to help us celebrate and preserve the legacy of the Kentucky Derby each day here at the Museum.”
The Kentucky Derby Museum works closely with Churchill Downs to provide one-of-a-kind tours for the museum’s guests to the historic racetrack, including daily walking tours, behind-the-scenes tours, golf cart tours and more.
“The expansion of the Kentucky Derby Museum is an exciting project for an institution that is a community treasure and a wonderful partner for Churchill Downs and all who love the Kentucky Derby and the Thoroughbred industry,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “Churchill Downs is honored to participate in this expansion and renovation that will provide the museum with new tools and spaces for its year-round work of bringing the history and excitement of one of America’s greatest sports and entertainment traditions to life for visitors from around the world.”
The Kentucky Derby Museum officially broke ground on construction of the multi-million dollar renovation and expansion project in March. The project will add over 11,000 s.f. of brand new space and will renovate another 5,000 s.f. of existing space. It will be the largest expansion of the museum’s footprint since the building was constructed in 1985.
With only 10 percent of more than 10,000 artifacts in the Museum’s archives on display, the expansion will provide a greater visitor experience for guests with an emphasis on new exhibit space. The recently acquired D. Wayne Lukas collection will be featured in its own permanent gallery. It will also create space to display key pieces of the Bill Shoemaker collection, which has been housed in the museum’s archives for many years.
On the ground floor, the new Helen B. “Penny” Chenery Stable will house the museum’s resident Thoroughbred and companion horse, and an outdoor seating area will be added to offer dynamic educational opportunities in an engaging new way.
The expansion project also features more than 7,400 new s.f. of covered space that can be set for various events, including outdoor weddings, dinners, parties and more. With the addition of the new rental space, the museum will be able to host events with as many as 2,200 people.
The project is being funded with a private capital campaign as well as funding from the museum’s endowment. The museum has raised more than $1.4 million of its $2.5 million fundraising goal thus far.
The museum will remain open to visitors during the entire duration of the project. The expansion will be completed in late October, in time for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs Racetrack, with a public grand opening set for Thursday, Nov. 1.