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, is in the process of being temporarily removed. A small crew of skilled workers are meticulously removing all historic limestone, granite and fountain fixtures, cataloging them and storing them in a secure location while work continues on the plaza. Once the removal of historic stone and fountain finishes is complete later this spring, 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.
- A crane will begin removing limestone blocks from the pillars supporting the iconic clock on the front of the building. Once the limestone is removed, the steel underneath will be cleaned and treated while the limestone is repaired.
- A 550-ton crane with over 330 feet of reach will remove nine air handling units from the roofs, including those on the wings of the building that house the Museum of Natural History & Science and Cincinnati History Museum, the historic Losantiville Dining Room and atop Tower A, the original control tower of the train yard. In the coming months, new air handling units will be installed on rear rooftops and the rear mechanical yard that will more efficiently cool the building.
- New classroom space is being roughed out with new walls and ductwork on the Lower Level inside the Cincinnati History Museum. The classrooms will continue to take shape and will offer expanded space for interactive programming.
- A concrete slab is being poured in a formerly unused space with a dirt floor. The space, located adjacent mechanical and storage areas, also shares a wall with the Museum of Natural History & Science. The new concrete floor stages the space for future exhibits and/or collections.
Number to know: 14 – The 140 cubic yard concrete pour over the dirt floor will require a minimum of 14 truckloads of concrete. That concrete will then be trekked indoors to the pour location, a half yard at a time, with motorized buggies.
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