Stairway to Heaven: Staircases Dropped Into New Louisville Thoro Society Building

(LTS Founding Member Mike Schnell, left, and one of the construction workers talk about the installation of the new staircases and the location for the South elevator shaft / Photo by Gene McLean)

With all due respect to the great “Rock N Roll” legend Led Zeppelin, a new “Stairway to Heaven” was created on Thursday at the new Louisville Thoroughbred Society.

All day Thursday, construction crews raised and then lowered into perfect location and placement the prefabricated staircases for the new project that is being constructed and renovated at 209 East Main Street in downtown Louisville.

One by one, they went up.

One by one, they went down, into the stairwells.

And, once carefully dislodged from the crane’s wires, the new stairs were locked into place. Welded for eternity.

Next week, concrete mixers will show up and pumped millions of gallons of cement  onto the metal to create the city’s newest “Stairway to Heaven.”

Once fully polished off, the stairs will allow members and their respective guests to climb from ground levels up to the historic Hughes Lofts’ 2nd floor and the new home for the prestigious Louisville Thoroughbred Society.

The private membership club — which will be dedicated to providing first class amenities and services to those interested in, invested in, and fans of the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industries — will be ready to open and welcome its’ first customers in early 2020.

Early on Thursday, representatives from Churchill Downs paid their latest visit and do a walk-through the entire property. The officials were reviewing the layout and floor plan and making final decisions on where to locate the 12 pari-mutuel machines on the premises.

Members and their guests will be able to wager on location just as if they were at Churchill Downs, or any other track in North America, for that matter. State-of-the-art audio/video equipment will be installed to provide simulcasting of racing from all over the globe.

The new club will also have private meeting rooms, dining spaces and the region’s most expansive and prestigious “Cigar Bar,” and “Cigar Pavilion,” where patrons will be able to buy, store and enjoy some of the most premium rolls and blends of cigars.

On Thursday, though, the new project took a giant step — or several — forward and upward. With the erection of the new staircases.

“There’s a lady who’s sure
“All that glitters is gold
“And she’s buying a stairway to heaven
“When she gets there she knows
“If the stores are all closed
“With a word she can get what she came for
“Oh oh oh oh and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.”

Lyrics to the first verse of Highway to Heaven, sung by Led Zeplin


The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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