Created by sculptor Louis Paul Jonas on behalf of Sinclair Oil for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the triceratops was originally part of a set of nine fiberglass dinosaur figures. At the conclusion of the World’s Fair, the dinosaurs went on tour before being split up to various museums around the country. Our triceratops found a home here in Louisville, appearing at several locations around town before becoming a permanent part of Kentucky Science Center in 1979.
Long-time Louisvillians may remember the triceratops as a fixture in the Science Center’s parking lot throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. It even survived the 1994 flood thanks to quick-thinking staff who cut a whole in the dinosaur’s leg to prevent it from floating away as the flood waters rose. The dinosaur was eventually moved to our storage facility in late-2007 to protect it from construction during the Museum Plaza project. Unfortunately, when that project was scrapped there was no money available to repair the dinosaur and put it back on display.
In 2022, we were thrilled to receive the funds to restore the triceratops and bring it back downtown to its Science Center home. To provide the dinosaur with further protection from drivers (and the Ohio River!), it was installed above the Kentucky Science Center parking lot elevator near the West Washington Street pedway. From this perch, the dinosaur is visible to museum guests as well as passing drivers on I-64, welcoming visitors to the city and encouraging everyone to Do Science.