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.
We will continue to have retail available in the Special Exhibit Gallery that is in conjunction with the content of Vikings: Beyond the Legend There will be no retail available on the main level.
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 removal of all limestone, granite and fountain finishes from the fountain and plaza, so critical to the historic fabric of the building, is nearly complete. Once the remaining concrete is removed, crews will begin the process of waterproofing those areas below the fountain to prevent future water damage that could impact the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and Dalton Street tunnel below. Once all work is complete, the fountain and plaza area will be rebuilt and restored in a precise manner.
- A crane will continue removing limestone blocks from the pillars supporting the iconic clock on the front of the building. Once the limestone is removed, the steel underneath will be cleaned and treated while the limestone is repaired.
- The north drum wall in the rear of the building just below the building’s half dome, has been taken down, brick-by-brick, to address bulging bricks and rusting steel. The drum wall also serves as the exterior wall behind the wall where the Rotunda’s iconic mosaic murals hang. After cleaning and treating the steel, crews are beginning the process of rebuilding that wall, replacing cracking terracotta tile with concrete block and adding expansion joints to prevent future damage from fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Much of the original exterior brick was salvaged and will be used to rebuild the exterior of the drum wall.
- Inside Union Terminal, portion of the west wall of the Duke Energy Children’s Museum is being moved slightly to enlarge the hallway near the entrance to the special exhibition gallery and the lower level of the Museum of Natural History & Science. The expanded hallway is part of plans to enhance the museum experience and to create new entrances to the Museum of Natural History & Science and Cincinnati History Museum. This work will be completed during evening hours to avoid disrupting guest activity.
Number to know: 5 – Five new boilers (two steam boilers and three hot water boilers) will be installed in the coming months to supply heat to Union Terminal’s 500,000+ square feet of interior space. Two outdated steam boilers and two hot water boilers will be replaced as part of the upgrade.
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