The Gardens sound after damage from storm; inspection yields surprising find

Louisville Gardens sound after damage from storm; inspection yields surprising find
Cathy Duncan (Source: Rick Miller, WAVE 3 News)
Cathy Duncan (Source: Rick Miller, WAVE 3 News)
Damage to the northeast corner of the roof. (Source: Air 3, WAVE 3 News)
Damage to the northeast corner of the roof. (Source: Air 3, WAVE 3 News)
The Early Times mural found during the storm damage inspection. (Source: Louisville Metro Government)
The Early Times mural found during the storm damage inspection. (Source: Louisville Metro Government)
This Ford SUV was damaged by debris from The Gardens roof. (Source: Rick Miller, WAVE 3 News)
This Ford SUV was damaged by debris from The Gardens roof. (Source: Rick Miller, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Government officials say despite the damage sustained by The Gardens from last night's severe storms, the building is structurally sound.

Cathy Duncan, Director of Facilities for Metro Government, said the damage happened around 9 p.m. when a gust of wind got under the roof and peeled it back.

"The building is structurally sound, it didn't do any damage to the structure itself," Duncan said. "It mostly is a drop ceiling, so the drop ceiling obviously is the most damaged."

Portions of the roof were blown onto Armory Place, the street running along the east side of the building. One vehicle was damaged by the falling debris, catching the attention of many people walking by.

"Again it's still puzzling where that structure came from, that hit the car--if you look around everything else is all wood and all stone," Betsy Gibson said. She says she works in the area and stopped to take a quick peek at the damage.

As for the building, Duncan said the most damage to the interior of was to the drop tiles covering the arena of the facility.

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According to Duncan, work to replace the roof of the building was scheduled to begin on Saturday. Because the project was already under contract, the roofing contractor was able to start temporary repairs and get the building covered.

Louisville Metro police have contacted the owner of the damaged SUV. Duncan said the vehicle will be moved to a Metro impound lot until the owner and his insurance company decide what to do.

While inspecting the damage Duncan said officials found two murals that had been painted above the drop ceiling.

The Gardens opened in 1905 as the Jefferson County Armory and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. the 6,000 seat facility has served as home to a number of sporting events over the years, including as the home of the University of Louisville Cardinals and the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association.

Armory Place between Muhammad Ali Blvd. and Liberty St. is closed while crews cleanup the debris and make necessary repairs.

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