Powered by WCPO

July 2017 construction update

This month marks the one year anniversary of our construction kickoff! We’ve still got 16 months remaining to complete Union Terminal’s restoration. We’ve made tremendous progress but it’s a REALLY BIG building.
Over the past 12 months, crews spent six weeks completing a temporary lobby in the Rotunda, using a sophisticated counterweight system to protect the historic terrazzo floor while maintaining the lobby’s structural integrity. Masons removed over 35,000 linear feet of caulk from between limestone joints on Union Terminal’s exterior and then refilled those joints with mortar by hand. Over 1,270 windows on the Rotunda façade were removed for cleaning and repair. Nearly 478 tons of new ductwork continues to snake its way through the building. 8,000 amps worth of new electrical panels have been installed as part of the building’s electrical upgrade. And a 550-ton crane was assembled onsite for outdated equipment removal. As work continues through fall 2018, here’s a look at what you can expect to see in the coming months.

Upcoming Work

  1. After thoroughly cleaning and repair of both the windows and frames, over 1,200 windows are in the process of being reinstalled. 
  2. The drum wall, which sits just below the curved half dome on the rear of the building, is being rebuilt after extensive repairs. Cracking terracotta bricks that formed the interior wall are being replaced with concrete blocks and a steel rod system. Steel rods running lengthwise through the blocks tie into steel plates welded onto structural steel beams, making the wall more stable. Original exterior brick is being reapplied.
  3. A new cooling tower has been installed as part of the building’s mechanical upgrade. The new cooling tower will tie into 23 new air handlers and three new centrifugal chillers with a combined cooling capacity of 1500 tons.
  4. Masons and structural engineers have completed steel repairs on the lintels above windows on the rear of Union Terminal’s wings. The steel lintels have been cleaned to address decades of water damage and treated with a zinc primer and acrylic paint to prevent future water penetration. With that work complete, the scaffolding that previously crisscrossed the wings has been removed as similar work continues further towards the rear of the building.
  5. Roofing repairs have begun on the upper level of the south wing. Existing roofing has been removed down to the roof deck and a temporary waterproof membrane is being applied to prevent water penetration. Insulation will then be added before the final roofing material is added. Once work is complete on the upper roof, crews will move to the two levels below before repeating the work on the north wing roofs.

Number to know: 42,000 – Four thermal storage tanks holding 42,000 gallons of water are being installed as part of the building’s upgraded ice storage system. The system improves upon the state-of-the-art system installed in the 1980s by increasing capacity. A mixture of water and antifreeze glycol chilled to 26 degrees by the building’s chillers is pumped through coils of pipe in the thermal storage tanks creating ice. Water from the tanks, now chilled by the ice, is pumped through the building as part of the cooling system. The ice-chilled water cools the building throughout the day, allowing the chillers to be turned off, conserving electricity during peak rate hours.

Sign up to receive email updates about the repair and restoration of Union Terminal.