Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cincinnati's Union Terminal: Art Deco Style

Cincinnati's Union Terminal building is an Art Deco landmark. It was completed in 1933.

At the front of the building, there is a large, multi-tiered fountain. Stairsteps on either side allow visitors to walk beside the long expanse of the fountain.

At one time the station served the Pennsylvania Railroad, the New York Central, Chesapeake and Ohio, Norfolk and Western, Louisville and Nashville, and the Baltimore and Ohio. At its peak, it served as many as 20,000 passengers per day. By the early 1970s, however, only two trains a day passed through the terminal, and by 1972 train service to the terminal was halted completely.

During the 1980s the terminal was renovated with funds from the City of Cincinnati and the State of Ohio. The terminal reopened in November 1990 as the Cincinnati Museum Center, an educational and cultural complex. It now houses the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History, the Cincinnati Historical Society and Library, a Children's Museum, and an I-Max Theater.

This is inside the main concourse:

The concourse features murals depicting workers in various Cincinnati industries.

The building also serves as a venue for many events and programs. Special exhibits in 2008 included "Bodies, The Exhibition". Currently it houses the "Dinosaurs Alive" exhibit. Throughout the year, it is used for private events and celebrations.

In July 1991, train service was restored to the terminal when Amtrak scheduled a Cincinnati stop on its Chicago-bound route from Washington, D.C.

To Be Continued: in my next post, I will feature another Art Deco landmark in Cincinnati.

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