A few weeks ago I was invited to attend a behind the scenes tour to with other Cincinnati instagramers. The purpose of the tour was to show us how Union Terminal is deteriorating and why it’s so important to save this icon of our city.
This building is absolutely gorgeous inside and out.
The art deco design and detailed murals boast of it’s former glory. Thousands used to travel through here by train during it’s peak. This building also houses the Cincinnati Museum Center which has 3 museums., The Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, and Duke Energy’s Children’s Museum.
We started our tour in the newsreel theater. This was a popular spot for train passengers to watch the news while waiting for their train. You can see that the cushions have been worn by the patrons that frequented them.
Next, we went out to the rotunda to view the murals and giant sets of windows.
That’s right sets! I have been to Union Terminal A LOT and this was the first time that I found out that there are two sets of window panes. Look very closely at this next image for the blue X made with painter’s tape on the window. That is the area we were headed up to during our tour.
But first, we climbed several staircases to see the clock from the interior. This is where we got to see both sets of window panes and walk on 2 inch thick glass for the first time.
Two sets of windows helped regulate the temperatures the glass floor still allowed light in the building.
We took turns climbing a short ladder to take a look at the clock.
Here is what it looks like from the outside…
And here is what the clock looks like from the inside.
Upon closer inspection, you can see the cracks in the clock.
From 6 floors up we also got the rare opportunity to take pictures from two different windows. One side gave outside views of the city, the other gave inside views of the rotunda.
We had to kneel down on the glass floor and make sure that we were holding onto our cameras with a tight grip.
I decided to take pictures of the outside first.
The views 6 floors up on the inside were pretty incredible too!
Remember that blue X that I told you about? Here it is!
Next, we took a trip to see the other side of the rotunda. Here is what it looks like from underneath.
This is what the rotunda looks like from above.
The beams tell stories of people who have been a part of this building’s history.
There are also 8 holes in the ceiling of the rotunda that were used for scaffolding. From one of the holes we could see all the way down to the information desk.
During our tour we saw many areas of the building that are in desperate need of repair.
There are beams that are rusting.
There are cracks in the foundation.
The outside walls are starting to warp.
There are also windows that need to be replaced.
This tour showed us why Union Terminal is on the list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Buildings.
You can see the damage yourself on one of FREE Repair tours every Saturday in October at 9, 10, and 11am.
There is limited space on these tours and its on a first come, first serve basis. *There are also a lot of stairs to climb on this tour.
For more information on the Union Terminal tours or more about Issue 8, check out the Cincinnati Museum Center website.
Union Terminal is located at 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45203.