July marks two full years of active construction work in the historic restoration of Union Terminal! With just four months remaining in the project, daily crews of over 360 are completing structural repairs and starting to restore historic elements that have been disassembled or missing. Architectural concrete has been poured around the top of the fountain, matching the original in color and pattern, which has been absent for decades. New bases have been poured for the flagpoles at the top of each parking lot and the trolley walls that mark the extreme north and south edges of the property have been cleaned and repaired.
Here’s a look at how else crews are restoring Union Terminal this month.
- Crews are continuing the finishing touches on the iconic fountain, applying terrazzo over its surface. Unlike the terrazzo floors inside the building, the fountain terrazzo will not be polished smooth, instead having a rustic finish. Marble chips are added to pigmented cement to create the iconic green color and trademark speckled look of the fountain’s original terrazzo.
- The rebuild of Union Terminal’s west wall at the back of the concourse continues as masons begin building a concrete block backup wall. From the outside in, the wall will consist of exterior face brick, a concrete block wall with steel reinforcements woven throughout and, finally, structural steel that has been painted and fireproofed.
- Scaffolding crawls upward along the front interior wall of the Rotunda for plaster removal and repair. Existing acoustic plaster will be removed and replaced with a more effective material that will enhance the acoustics of the Rotunda without depriving it of the iconic echo of the whispering fountains.
- Work is wrapping up in the north wing ramps (now the Museum of Natural History & Science), paving the way for new exhibit installation. Decorative grills and terracotta tiles have been cleaned, historic light fixtures have been restored and reinstalled, concrete floors are being prepped for carpet installation and the plaster ceilings have been repaired, matching the original color from 1933.
- In the Losantiville Dining Room, crews are working to install the ceiling while the historic light fixtures are being restored offsite. Acoustic panels are being installed over the dry wall ceiling before a finishing textured plaster is added to complete the ceiling.
Number to Know: 70,000 – To cover the surface of the 8,000-square-foot fountain, artisans will mix 70,000 pounds of marble chips with cement and pigment. The 35 tons of marble chips will give the terrazzo its trademark spectacled appearance.
Visit myunionterminal.com to follow along as we restore this National Historic Landmark.