With just nine months to go in the first full structural restoration in Union Terminal’s 85-year history, crews are active in nearly every area inside and outside the building. New windows fabricated to the building’s original specifications are being installed in the Losantiville Dining Room and interior Rotunda windows are being repaired and re-glazed as needed.
Outside, masons and structural engineers are well underway on the demolition of the west wall. The wall was originally built when 400 feet of the concourse was demolished in the 1970s. Due to structural concerns, the wall is being disassembled brick-by-brick. Once the exterior brick and interior concrete block wall are removed, the wall will be rebuilt with more structurally-sound steel reinforcements. This complicated project is taking place in contained scaffolding less than 12 feet from an active rail line.
Here’s a look at what else crews are undertaking this month.
- Union Terminal’s fountain continues to take shape and crews hope to have the fountain forms entirely poured within the next two months. With the concrete base finished, a waterproof liner will be applied in the coming months and historic stone will be put back in place. As a final step, green terrazzo will be laid overtop to complete the fountain.
- Cleaning and repairs continue on Winold Reiss’s iconic glass tile mosaics in the Rotunda. While scaffolding on the north mosaics begins to come down, art conservators are busy climbing scaffolding on the south mosaic. Repairs on the two concourse mosaics, featuring city officials and the first president of Union Terminal Company, are complete.
- Work on the Art Deco train station’s drum walls is complete after nearly 8 months. The walls, which sit just below the building’s half dome in the rear of the building, were disassembled and rebuilt with a steel-reinforced concrete block wall. The interior of the drum wall has been plastered and painted. Cracks in the opposite interior wall, on which the Rotunda mosaics hang, are being patched and painted this month as well.
- New ductwork is being installed in the changing special exhibition galleries. Once installed, this ductwork will be connected to new heating and cooling systems. This is a critical step in ensuring the galleries can continue to meet required temperature and humidity levels for the wide range of artifacts brought into the space.
- As the new elevator serving the Duke Energy Children’s Museum lobby continues to take shape, the piston operating the existing elevator in the lower level lobby is being replaced. Later this month and into March, crews will cut through the concourse and mezzanine floors to complete the elevator shaft.
- Chilled water piping is being hung and chilled water pumps are being installed in the boiler room to service the building’s three new chillers. The updated cooling system is part of an overall mechanical upgrade that will make the building more efficient to operate. 3,500 gallons of water circulate through the new chillers each minute.
Number to Know: 1,060 – There are 1,060 doors across Union Terminal’s more than 500,000 square feet.
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