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 historic fountain and plaza, so critical to the historic fabric of the building, will begin to be temporarily removed. A small crew of skilled workers will meticulously remove all historic limestone, granite and fountain fixtures, catalog them and store them in a secure location while work continues on the plaza. Once demolition of the plaza area is complete, crews will begin waterproofing the area below (which forms the roof for portions of the Union Terminal’s lower level) to prevent future water damage. Once complete, the fountain and plaza area will be rebuilt in a precise manner.
- The disassembly of the north drum wall (the wall just below the half dome in the rear of the building) continues and much of the exterior brick face has been removed, exposing the interior terracotta tile backup wall. Due to outdated construction methodology used in constructing the original wall, natural thermal expansion has caused significant damage to the wall system. The terracotta tile will be removed and replaced with a cement block wall with expansion joints added to account for thermal expansion due to the region’s fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Undamaged exterior brick will then be used to rebuild the exterior wall, adding new brick as needed.
- A large crane will be parked in front of the building as limestone from the front corners of the building are removed for repair and to address damaged brick and steel underneath. The limestone will be stored in a secure location before being reinstalled once the structural work is complete.
- The hallway near the entrance to the special exhibitions gallery is being expanded to account for changes to the lower lobby. This results in a small move of the wall of the Duke Energy Children’s Museum that borders that lobby. Crews are constructing temporary walls and conducting much of this work overnight to allow work to continue without disrupting guest activity.
- Crews are preparing the former Public Safety Office near the front entrance for the installation of a new large-scale elevator connecting the lobby to the lower level. The Public Safety Office has been temporarily relocated in the lobby.
Number to know: 1,270 – The number of historic pieces of limestone and granite to be meticulously removed from the fountain and plaza area in front of Union Terminal. Each stone will be moved to an offsite facility for repair and storage.
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