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Library-Churchill Downs

Aluminum Extrusions Play Important Role in Evolution of Churchill Downs

It was just over 10 years ago that Churchill Downs kicked off their most extensive renovation since the iconic Twin Spires were built in 1895. The $121 million renovation and expansion program spanned two years and included a multi-story clubhouse addition with 79 luxury suites and a dramatic new grand entrance.

Aluminum extrusions played a key part in both, with over 2,000 lineal feet of aluminum framed doors and windows providing track views from the new suites, clad in white Kynar paint to fit with the "visual signature" of the facility.

The entry rotunda, known as Gate 17, soars to a height of 45 feet, and is capped by a 26 foot octagonal skylight which supports a suspended equine sculpture. Extrusions provide the framing and structure for the skylight as well as the framing for the rotunda's doors and windows, which raise 30 feet. For a more complete overview of the 2003-04 renovation, read the Extrusion Showcase in the AEC Library.

You can bet that the folks who host the "most exciting two minutes in sports" weren't finished, however.  Churchill Downs saw another $24 million in renovations, with an updated media center and patron amenities added in 2013.

In celebration of the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby in 2014, the most recent $14 million renovation project opened with additional upgrades to patron amenities, as well as the first additions to grandstand seating since the 2003-04 renovation. A new food and beverage plaza, along with new and renovated restrooms and wagering stations will greet patrons to the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Oaks events.

Home page photo ©Cheryl Quigley; photo above left ©Kinetic/

Updated May 2017