The cliche about turning lemon into lemonade is being realized at the National Corvette Museum, where two of the eight Corvettes swallowed by a sinkhole still can’t be seen.
Outside the Skydome, which is home to the sinkhole, there are stacks of carpet tiles that once covered parts of the floor.
“They are going to sell them,” Mike Murphy said Thursday while showing the Daily News around the hole, which is up to 50 feet deep. "We've had people tell us that they would pay for some of the rocks or a piece of concrete that we might recover."
And the museum is giving serious thought to how they can "tastefully" capitalize on what has been categorized by Corvette lovers as a tragedy, according to marketing director Katie Frassinelli.
In addition to the rocks and carpet tiles, the gift shop also will have some T-shirts soon. Frassinelli said one person suggested a small box that said 'My piece of the National Corvette Museum sinkhole." You open it up and there is nothing inside. Die-cast models of the eight cars in the hole also was a thought, but that takes too long.
“They really are taking a lemon and making lemonade,” said Murphy, the CEO of the Scott, Murphy & Daniel, which will oversee the work.
It still will be some time before any of that rock or the cars can be recovered. Stabilizing the building has to happen first, and that involves drilling holes into the ground outside the building and filling the holes at least six feet or more (the final depth hasn’t been determined) with a spray grout. The building itself will be reinforced in spots.
Once the structure is stable, the three or four most visible cars will be removed and then crews will spray the dirt and rock sides with the concrete-cement mixture called gunite, which is used on swimming pools, Murphy said – ironic, because inside the remainder of the museum that is open to the public, two out of town guests were peering through the view window into the Skydome. "Now they could have an in-ground pool," Jeff Funk of Fort Wayne, Ind., joked.
While he made jokes about the hole that drew him and brother, Greg, to the museum for the first time, Jeff said it was a sad day for Corvette lovers to see the cars plummet into the hole.
— For more on this story, see Friday’s Daily News.