After more than a year of planning, intensive design work and thorough probing and analysis by preservation architects, the real construction work on Union Terminal is underway. The restoration of Union Terminal requires a keen understanding of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and history as modern construction and engineering techniques blend with early 20th century materials and design to save iconic Union Terminal.
What to expect when visiting Union Terminal
Construction is now fully underway! Aspects of your general visit will be different as the work continues and we make sure your visit is still fun and safe.
The front entrance drop off zone has been reconfigured due to scaffolding on the exterior of the building. The new drop off and pick up zone is at the bottom of the fountain. This area is not be covered.
The parking lot on the north side of the building will be available for guest parking. There will be new handicapped spots in this lot.
The temporary lobby construction is complete. You will be able to see the Rotunda for a period of time but must stay on the carpeted area in the front of the Rotunda. You will continue to purchase your tickets at our box office in the same location.
Restrooms will be available in the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and outside the entrance of the Special Exhibit Gallery.
Both the escalators and large elevator that lead down to the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and Special Exhibit Gallery will continue to be available for guests.
We will have wheelchairs and strollers available for rent.
There will be food service available on the lower level with limited grab-and-go options.
Public safety and first aid will continue to be available on main level. This will continue to serve as our lost and found as well.
- The limestone covering the pillars supporting the iconic clock on the front of the building has been removed to reveal the structural steel underneath. With the steel now exposed, structural engineers will assess its condition over a period of two days. With that assessment complete, the engineers will prepare the necessary repairs to be completed over the course of the month.
- The north drum wall in the rear of the building just below Union Terminal’s half dome is in the process of being rebuilt. The drum wall is the exterior wall behind the wall where the Rotunda’s iconic mosaic murals hang. Structural steel has been cleaned and treated using a zinc primer and multi-part paint system to prevent future oxidation that might compromise its integrity. Masons are now in the process of rebuilding the brick back-up wall, which will continue through the month. The next step will be to replace the exterior brick using much of the original brick that was salvaged when it was removed.
- Crews are currently grinding the terrazzo tile floor in the historic Losantiville Dining Room to remove glue residue leftover when the carpet was removed. The room was carpeted in the 1980s, covering the red, white and black terrazzo tile seen in the Rotunda of Union Terminal. During the building’s time as an active train station, the Losantiville Dining Room included a serpentine lunch counter, the impression of which is now visible since the carpet removal. The carpet removal and terrazzo grinding are part of the work being done to restore the historic space.
- Three new air handling units have arrived in Union Terminal’s south mechanical room. Each massive air handling unit was delivered in five pieces to fit through doorways into the building. They are in the process of being assembled and connected to new duct work that will make the building more efficient to cool. The air handling units are part of 23 new air handling units that will be installed in the building.
- Structural work in the Dalton Street tunnel has closed the tunnel for the duration of the summer, rerouting road traffic. Masons and structural engineers are addressing crumbling concrete and rusting steel to secure the integrity of the tunnel, which runs beneath Union Terminal’s plaza.
Number to know: 478,000 – As part of the mechanical upgrades to make Union Terminal more efficient to operate, over 478,000 pounds of new ductwork is snaking through the building. New HVAC equipment will tie into new and existing ductwork as part of the building’s heating and cooling system.
Experiences and areas closed for the duration of restoration:
The Museum of Natural History and Science
The Cincinnati History Museum
The OMNIMAX® Theater
Cincinnati History Library and Archives
Store to Explore Gift Shop
Collector's Gallery Gift Shops
What has been done so far?
Take a 3D tour of Union Terminal’s interior
As teams finalize plans for the restoration of 83-year-old Union Terminal, they’re getting an assist from new technology. A recently completed laser scan of the building produced a 3D model that will be an essential asset for architects and designers as they begin the restoration. Watch this video for a 3D flythrough of Union Terminal and click on the links below to take an interactive look inside the walls of Union Terminal.
Click the links below for more information.
In the News
Museum Center's OmniMax theater closing Monday (July 4, 2016)
Curate My Community: Cincinnati Museum artifacts to move around during restoration (June 22, 2016)
Museum exhibits on display at libraries during Cincinnati Museum Center renovations (June 22, 2016)
Final 6 large murals moving to Duke Energy Center from CVG (May 12, 2016)
Companies Participating in March 25, 2015 Building Tour