How much will the repair and restoration of Union Terminal cost?

The full repair and restoration of Union Terminal will cost $212.7 million.

Why does Union Terminal need to be repaired and restored?

In its 83 years, Union Terminal has experienced severe water damage, natural deterioration and delayed maintenance that, without repair, the building would be obsolete.

Where is the money coming from?

A significant portion of funding for the project will come from the five-year one-quarter of one percent sales tax passed by the voters of Hamilton County in 2014. The sales tax is estimated to bring in $175.7 million. An additional $5 million will come from a State of Ohio Capital Grant, $21.25 million from Federal Historic Tax Credits, $3.25 million from State Historic Tax Credits and $7.5 million from private philanthropy.

How does the sales tax work?

A one-quarter of one percent sales tax expiring after five years was passed in November 14 by 62% of Hamilton County voters. The sales tax is projected to generate just over $170 million. 47% of county sales tax is paid for by non-residents.

How do the historic tax credits work?

The IRS offers tax credits as an incentive to restore historic buildings. To qualify, a building must either be located in a registered historic district and certified by the Secretary of the Interior as being of historic significance to that district, or, in Union Terminal’s case, a building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Preservation aspects are jointly administered by the National Park Service and the State Historic Preservation Offices. As a result, the restoration work on the building will require skilled workers and careful guidance from preservation architects to ensure the project meets all guidelines set forth by the National Park Service and Ohio State Historic Preservation Office.
Simply put, the estimated $25 million from Historic Tax Credits (both state and federal) are critical to the complete restoration of Union Terminal and will help preserve a national historic landmark.

What will be fixed?

This is a complete structural restoration of Union Terminal that will preserve the building and historic interior spaces, restore its iconic exterior and make the building more energy efficient and sustainable.

What will change?

The focus of the Union Terminal restoration project is on the exterior and interior structure, foundation, historic grounds and mechanical systems that are critical to Union Terminal’s functionality and history. The project will not address exhibits, Cincinnati Museum Center is continuing to fundraise and prototype exhibits and upgrades that will enhance the guest’s experience. Cincinnati Museum Center is always actively improving and adding exhibit components in each of the three museums and will continue to develop those improvements and additions through the restoration project.

Will Union Terminal look different?

What guests will see is a building that looks very much the same, and that is the goal of the project – to restore and maintain an iconic structure that has been the background and setting of fond memories for generations. What guests will not see are the improvements that will prevent further water damage, deterioration and mechanical inefficiencies that endangered the building.

What about Cincinnati Museum Center? How will it be impacted during the restoration?

You can still visit Cincinnati Museum Center and have an incredible experience that you’ll be talking about long after you leave. Cincinnati Museum Center provides a robust offering of exhibits, programs, workshops and activities and will continue to do so throughout the restoration of Union Terminal.
To facilitate the restoration of Union Terminal, the Museum of Natural History & Science and Cincinnati History Museum will temporarily close on June 30, 2016, followed by the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater on July 5, 2016. The Duke Energy Children’s Museum and the special exhibits gallery (currently hosting The Art of the Brick exhibit) will remain open throughout the restoration.
For more information about how Cincinnati Museum Center will be impacted during the restoration, please click here.

How is the project addressing inclusion?

The work to repair and restore Union Terminal is highly specialized. Because of that, we are conducting several outreach programs to prepare companies for upcoming work and provide support of partnerships between large and small companies to do the work.
We want to identify skilled workers ready to participate on the project and, if fully trained and ready to work, connect them to contractors that will be working on the project. If they need some training we will connect them to community organizations who can assist them.
Our program will also promote diversity in other areas besides skilled trades work such as goods and services, material suppliers and professional services needed for a project of this size.

How long will the restoration take?

Prior to the passage of the sales tax in November 2014, extensive work was done to assess the full scope of work needed to restore Union Terminal. Since the passage of the sales tax, design, probe and assessment work have continued. Construction will begin in July 2016 and is scheduled to conclude in late fall 2018.

Who’s involved in the restoration project?

Click here to see profiles of those involved in the repair and restoration of Union Terminal. (Link to profiles)

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