February marks one year since Corvette aficionados worldwide collectively cringed at the news of a massive sinkhole that suddenly and unapologetically formed in the floor of Bowling Green, KY's National Corvette Museum Skydome. Before it was all over, the offending gap measured 30 feet deep and 40 feet wide and swallowed eight rare rides.
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of that crazed night, museum officials held a ceremony that featured the official unveiling of one of just three of those eight chewed up cars deemed to be in good enough condition for restoration - the 2009 ZR1 dubbed the "Blue Devil." It's a fitting tribute, as the Blue Devil was the first to be carefully recovered from the sinkhole and successfully cranked up, sending onlookers into a frenzied cheer session.
So what's next?
"We are currently working with Creative Arts Unlimited of Pinellas Park, FL to develop a meaningful, first-class exhibit to tell the story of our sinkhole," said Katie Frassinelli, Museum Communications Manager. "The construction team installed a manhole which leads into one side of our cave. The exhibit will incorporate a kiosk which connects to a camera and lights inside the cave, allowing visitors a live view of what lies beneath their feet. The exhibit should be educational and entertaining with plenty of hands-on and interactive features."
Museum officials had toyed with the idea of leaving the sinkhole intact, as it's a now well-known part of the facility's history. But safety concerns prompted them to nix the idea in favor of the interpretive exhibit. Meanwhile, the main portion of the Museum continues to remain open for tours during the construction process, which visitors can watch through a Plexiglas window. Full reopening of the Skydome is slated for later this year, after restoration on the 1992 One Millionth Corvette and the 1962 Tuxedo Black Corvette is completed.
And what's with the lemonade toast?
"Everyone has joked that the Museum 'made lemonade' out of this situation, so we thought it fitting to end our ceremony with a lemonade toast to continued good fortune for the museum," Frassinelli explained, noting that over the past 12 months, the museum experienced a 67-percent surge in attendance and unfathomable amounts of worldwide media coverage.
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