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.
- With roughly two-thirds of the plaza area removed and the fountain itself completely removed, crews are working to complete the remaining demolition of any existing concrete to expose the roof deck below. Elsewhere on the plaza, where the roof deck has already been exposed and has had the old waterproofing removed, new waterproofing is in the process of being applied to prevent future water penetration into the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and Dalton Street tunnel below. Once the waterproofing is complete, the plaza structures and fountain will be rebuilt to their original specifications.
- Masons crews are beginning to remove limestone and the red backup brick on the rear of the building’s face to expose, clean and treat structural steel.
- The parapet walls on Union Terminal’s rear flat roofs are being repaired. Original terracotta tiles that form the wall caps are being replaced with larger tiles, reducing the number of masonry joints and the opportunity for water penetration. Original copper flashing on the walls, coated in patina from years of oxidation, is also being replaced, further protecting the integrity of the wall from water damage.
- New rooftop air handling units are being installed on the rear flat roofs, part of an overall mechanical upgrade that will make the building more efficient to operate. These units will soon be connected to the newly-installed HVAC system, which includes five new boilers.
- Masonry and structural work continues in the Dalton Street tunnel, necessitating a temporary road closure.
Number to know: 120,000 – Union Terminal’s fountain and plaza area covers 120,000 square feet, more than two football fields. Portions of the plaza form the roof to the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and straddle the Dalton Street tunnel.
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