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February 2017 construction update

If you’ve visited Union Terminal recently, you likely noticed some major changes to the face of the building. Nearly each of the 1,270 windows on the front face of Union Terminal have been removed. The last of those windows will be removed by the end of the month, then taken to an off-site facility for cleaning and repair. With the windows removed, painted plywood will temporarily take their place and the historic metal frames around the windows will be repaired. February also has plenty of other changes in store.

Upcoming Work

  1. The historic fountain and plaza, so critical to the historic fabric of the building, will begin to be temporarily removed. A small crew of skilled workers will meticulously remove all historic limestone, granite and fountain fixtures, catalog them and store them in a secure location while work continues on the plaza. Once demolition of the plaza area is complete, 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.
  2. The disassembly of the north drum wall (the wall just below the half dome in the rear of the building) continues and much of the exterior brick face has been removed, exposing the interior terracotta tile backup wall. Due to outdated construction methodology used in constructing the original wall, natural thermal expansion has caused significant damage to the wall system. The terracotta tile will be removed and replaced with a cement block wall with expansion joints added to account for thermal expansion due to the region’s fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Undamaged exterior brick will then be used to rebuild the exterior wall, adding new brick as needed.
  3. A large crane will be parked in front of the building as limestone from the front corners of the building are removed for repair and to address damaged brick and steel underneath. The limestone will be stored in a secure location before being reinstalled once the structural work is complete.
  4. The hallway near the entrance to the special exhibitions gallery is being expanded to account for changes to the lower lobby. This results in a small move of the wall of the Duke Energy Children’s Museum that borders that lobby. Crews are constructing temporary walls and conducting much of this work overnight to allow work to continue without disrupting guest activity.
  5. Crews are preparing the former Public Safety Office near the front entrance for the installation of a new large-scale elevator connecting the lobby to the lower level. The Public Safety Office has been temporarily relocated in the lobby.

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