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January 2018 construction update

The restoration of Union Terminal is entering its final year and crews are busier than ever. Scaffolding is nearly complete on the west wall of the building where the concourse once extended 400 feet over railroad tracks. This is one of the last major masonry projects to be completed. Art conservators are continuing to scale scaffolding four stories into the air to clean the historic mosaics of the Rotunda.

Below is a look at how crews are kicking off the first month in the final year of Union Terminal’s historic restoration.

Upcoming Work 

  1. Metal conservators are beginning the restoration of the marquee over the building’s main entrance. Aluminum panels are being selectively removed for repairs.
  2. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades are beginning in the two special exhibition galleries on the lower level. 80-year-old underground pipes will be repaired and new sprinkler, lighting and electrical systems are being installed. New ductwork is also being installed to connect the space to updated heating and cooling systems.
  3. Work continues on a new elevator that will connect the Rotunda to the lower level lobby across from the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. The foundation is being dug and crews will begin cutting through the mezzanine and concourse floors to complete the 12-foot elevator shaft.
  4. Terrazzo is being poured in the historic Losantiville Dining Room to match the existing floor. Marble chips mixed with colored concrete are poured over sand beds. Once the terrazzo dries it will be grinded to expose the marble chips and then polished as the final step. Terrazzo work is a rare skill today and great efforts have been taken to find craftsmen with the knowledge and expertise to complete the work.
  5. Steel girders have arrived onsite and are being moved into place and prepped to address structural work on the mezzanine level below the fountain and plaza. A steel fabrication shop has been set up in the building where steelworkers are welding reinforcing plates and stiffeners onto the girders before they are hoisted into place.

Number to Know: 6,476 – Art conservators and preservation architects are carefully cleaning and repairing 6,476 square feet of historic tile mosaics in the Rotunda and concourse. The mosaics consist of glass tiles and pigmented stucco and are cleaned using a multi-step process including a dry sponge method and a diluted mild detergent application.

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