Speed Renovations Continue - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Speed Renovations Continue

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---Described as Louisville's "temple of culture" the Speed Art Museum is in the process of undergoing a massive 50 million dollar renovation.  Tonight's annual fundraiser for the museum, The Speed Ball, will be held at the Gillespie.

Like a fortress, standing sophisticated and grand, the Speed Museum houses precious works of art from around the world. Its next masterpiece will be crafted not by the hands of a painter rather by an architect.  

"We're trying to get more people to enjoy and  love and appreciate the art collection, the experience," says architect, Kulapat Yantrasast.

Yantrasast is giving Kentucky's largest museum an update fit for the 21st century.  In May, the wing built in 1972 will be demolished and a 60,000 square foot glass building will be erected in its place.

"We needed more gallery space to support our collection which is ever growing," says Interim Director, Lisa Resnik.  

The transparent design is part of the strategic plan to entice more visitors to explore what's inside. Before it closed for renovations in September, the gallery averaged around 80,000 visitors a year.  When it reopens in the Spring of 2016, the goal is to more than double that number.

"As we move into our time it needs to interact and open more to people," says Yantrasast.

Renovating an art museum comes with many challenges. Most of the pieces have been moved to secure locations within the museum far away from any construction.

"We have to keep the temperature at 72 degrees and the humidity at 50 percent that's really important even when we're not open to the public," says Resnik.

Also moving, while the renovations continue, is the staff at the Speed Museum.  They'll be setting up a temporary gallery space inside this building on Market Street.  While there are growing pains the design team promises it will all be worth it.

"This museum will be a beacon of light for this city and others. We're helping this legacy to move forward," says Yantrasast.

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