Wednesday, March 16, 2011

92. The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal

Built in 1933, Union Terminal was designed by Fellheimer and Wagner. It is an Art Deco building built on the land that was once part of Lincoln Park. The main building is a huge half domed rotunda built with limestone and glass. It is the largest semi-dome in the Western hemisphere. Inside you will find mosaic murals by German artist Winold Reiss, a gold and yellow arc following the top of the rotunda, and many other beautiful features that you need to see for yourself. In the front is a large illuminated fountain and pool. With the opening of Union Terminal, the city was able to consolidate 5 rail terminals. Union Terminal served 7 major railroads and could accommodate 216 trains a day. With air and auto travel becoming more and more popular, train service declined and by 1972 all train service stopped at Union Terminal.

In the 1980’s Union Terminal had a short life as a shopping mall called, “The Land of Oz”. By 1985, all stores and the mall closed.

In 1990 Union Terminal was renovated and opened as the Cincinnati Museum Center. The Museum of Natural History which was once located in Eden Park moved to the newly renovated facilities as well as the Cincinnati Historical Society Museum, the Children’s Museum, and an Omnimax Theatre. The Cincinnati Railroad Club also renovated the space in Tower A which was once the control tower for the terminal.

In 1991, Amtrak service returned to Union Terminal.

The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal
1301 Western Avenue, Queensgate