Local group works to restore Louisville's hidden dinosaur

Local group works to restore Louisville's hidden dinosaur
The dinosaur was created for the World's Fair of New York in 1964. (Source: Facebook/Louisville Triceratops)
The dinosaur was created for the World's Fair of New York in 1964. (Source: Facebook/Louisville Triceratops)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville Independent Business Alliance encourages the entire city to "Keep Louisville Weird."

There is never a shortage of uniqueness in our city. Among the trove of things that might make you say, 'Huh, that's strange,' while driving through Louisville, there's one thing that might really take your breath away.

At first glance, this one warehouse in the California neighborhood seems like your average warehouse. But take another look, you might spot something prehistoric.

"You gotta think that it's gotta be at least a couple tons," Rocko Jerome said. Jerome is a part of Operation CARLOT. It stands for Community Action Rescue Louisville's Triceratops.

Standing all by her lonesome, in the parking lot of this warehouse, is a fiberglass triceratops in all her cretaceous glory.

"Lottie," Jerome said, putting a hand on her horn, "has a long history."

Operation CARLOT caught wind of Lottie only a few weeks ago. Since then, they have been working to restore her and find her a better place to stay. They also did all the background research to figure out where in the world she came from.

"Lottie first came to be in 1964, in the World's Fair at New York," Jerome said. On display with several of her dinosaur siblings, Lottie was created as a part of an exhibit by Sinclair Oil company.

The World's Fair in New York was so successful that the exhibit hit the road and traveled all over the nation, even stopping in Louisville at one time.

"At the Indian Trails Shopping Center on Preston Highway," Jerome explained. You might recall seeing Lottie and her other dinosaur siblings back in the 1960s. You might even have a mold-a-rama souvenir figurine of one of the dinosaurs from then as well.

When that traveling exhibit was over, Lottie the triceratops was gifted to the city of Louisville. When she arrived, she stayed a good while at the Louisville Zoo. She was then moved to the Kentucky Science Center.

So what brought her to a warehouse parking lot in the California neighborhood?

"We're really not too sure how exactly she ended up here," Jerome said.

That's where the Kentucky Science Center comes in to fill in the blanks.

"We call her Sinclair," Gil Reyes from the Science Center said. "We've had her for... I'm not even sure how many years, but it was about 2008 when she sustained damage."

With her repair work put on hold, the Science Center stored her at the warehouse because they rent storage space from the company.

"We would love to work with some folks, if they're interested in helping us bring Sinclair her triumphant return to the Science Center site," Reyes added.

A triceratops of two names now awaits a comeback in a new century. Jerome says Operation CARLOT is willing to fix her up and paint her again, free of charge, in the hopes of sending her along where she belongs.

"There's any number of places I think she would be interesting," Jerome said. "Maybe at the Speed Museum, we would like to work with the city to figure something out."

Jerome asked WAVE 3 News not to reveal the exact location of Lottie to keep her safe. If you would like to find out more information about Lottie, you can find her on Facebook as the Louisville Triceratops.

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