Cincinnati icon still a vibrant center of culture today
CINCINNATI - On March 31, 2014, Cincinnatians will celebrate Opening Day, a longstanding tradition near and dear to people's hearts. Union Terminal, likewise has a rich heritage that has rightly earned its place in people's hearts. On March 31, Union Terminal will also be celebrating as it enters its 81st year as a vibrant city icon.
Union Terminal was an ambitious undertaking when it was began in 1929 at the onset of the Great Depression. Originally designed in a neo-classical style, it was deemed too cold and expensive prompting the design to be modified to the then-modern art deco style that has been a Cincinnati staple for 81 years. The building opened on March 31, 1933, ahead of time and under budget, an accomplishment in any era, but even more so with the equipment and technology of the 1930s.
Cincinnati's Union Terminal has seen its fair share of history, including several visits by presidents and presidential candidates, beginning with FDR in 1936 and most recently Mitt Romney in 2012. It was also the site of the nation's first USO transit lounge, serving over 3 million servicemen and women, early one-fifth of all World War II GIs, during the war.
As rail traffic declined in the 1960s, Union Terminal remained a mainstay of the Cincinnati skyline even as the activity inside changed. It has been home to a science center and shopping mall before finally becoming home to Cincinnati Museum Center. From a bustling temple of transportation to a center of education and inspiration, Union Terminal's use has evolved just as the city of Cincinnati itself has.
While Union Terminal has been designated a national historic landmark it's much more than that to the people of Cincinnati. "Union Terminal has been a source of pride for Cincinnati since it first opened in 1933," says Douglass McDonald, President and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. "It's a building filled with history and memories that so many Cincinnatians hold dear and we are honored to call it home and celebrate its 81st birthday."
Norton Outdoor Advertising has joined in the birthday celebration by generously donating several billboards around Cincinnati wishing Union Terminal a happy birthday. You can join us as we celebrate the 81st birthday of Union Terminal! Visit cincymusuem.org for fascinating Union Terminal facts and images you can download to join in on the celebration. Follow Cincinnati Museum Center on Twitter @CincyMuseum for more ways you can celebrate.
Union Terminal will also be featured in the "Engineering Map of America," an interactive map presented by PBS and American Experience.
About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution as well as national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of only 16 museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Our Union Terminal has been voted the nation's 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and the Cincinnati History Library. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes one million plus visitors annually. For more information, visit cincymuseum.org.