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.
- After thoroughly cleaning and repair of both the windows and frames, over 1,200 windows are in the process of being reinstalled.
- The drum wall, which sits just below the curved half dome on the rear of the building, is being rebuilt after extensive repairs. Cracking terracotta bricks that formed the interior wall are being replaced with concrete blocks and a steel rod system. Steel rods running lengthwise through the blocks tie into steel plates welded onto structural steel beams, making the wall more stable. Original exterior brick is being reapplied.
- A new cooling tower has been installed as part of the building’s mechanical upgrade. The new cooling tower will tie into 23 new air handlers and three new centrifugal chillers with a combined cooling capacity of 1500 tons.
- Masons and structural engineers have completed steel repairs on the lintels above windows on the rear of Union Terminal’s wings. The steel lintels have been cleaned to address decades of water damage and treated with a zinc primer and acrylic paint to prevent future water penetration. With that work complete, the scaffolding that previously crisscrossed the wings has been removed as similar work continues further towards the rear of the building.
- Roofing repairs have begun on the upper level of the south wing. Existing roofing has been removed down to the roof deck and a temporary waterproof membrane is being applied to prevent water penetration. Insulation will then be added before the final roofing material is added. Once work is complete on the upper roof, crews will move to the two levels below before repeating the work on the north wing roofs.
Number to know: 42,000 – Four thermal storage tanks holding 42,000 gallons of water are being installed as part of the building’s upgraded ice storage system. The system improves upon the state-of-the-art system installed in the 1980s by increasing capacity. A mixture of water and antifreeze glycol chilled to 26 degrees by the building’s chillers is pumped through coils of pipe in the thermal storage tanks creating ice. Water from the tanks, now chilled by the ice, is pumped through the building as part of the cooling system. The ice-chilled water cools the building throughout the day, allowing the chillers to be turned off, conserving electricity during peak rate hours.
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