What Could Have Been: Terminal Towers

This framed rendering, titled “Terminal Towers,” was created for an adaptive re-use proposal for Cincinnati Union Terminal. It was put together by local developer Joseph L. Eckert III in the early 1970s. Mr. Eckert pitched the proposal to the railroads, who still owned the building (prior to selling it to the City of Cincinnati), but according to Mr. Eckert, they had little to no interest in the project. Mr. Eckert’s investors went on to back other development projects and the Terminal Towers idea was scrapped.

He said that the proposal called for the construction of two towers flanking the terminal main structure and built over the curving wings. One was to be an office tower and the other was for residential condos and apartments. The terminal itself would be a shopping center. He also envisioned a daily helicopter shuttle service between the terminal and Greater Cincinnati Airport. There was also some intended industrial development for the passenger rail yard as a part of the proposal.

Mr. Eckert was the developer for University Plaza near the University of Cincinnati Campus and other projects around town and elsewhere, including some international projects. There was at one time an Eckert’s Department Store in Cincinnati which was owned by his family. Mr. Eckert donated this piece to the museum in 2015.

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