As the restoration of Union Terminal enters its final months, crews are beginning to focus on the finer details around the building. Decorative aluminum grills are being reinstalled around the top of the ramps that are now the Museum of Natural History & Science and Cincinnati History Museum. Restored glass is going back into the restored aluminum frames of ticket windows that line the edge of the Rotunda. Historic granite and limestone are being reinstalled around the plaza, including the curb lines and steps at the top of the fountain.
Here’s a look at how else crews are restoring Union Terminal this month.
- The final steps of the historic fountain rebuild continue. After the application of a two-layer polyurea waterproofing system, a base coat infused with sand has been added in preparation of the final terrazzo application. The gritty base coat allows the rustic terrazzo finish to adhere to the fountain.
- Inside the fountain, crews continue to hook up electrical and plumbing connections in the fountain’s pump room. Once fully operational, the pump system will cycle 2.4 million gallons of water through the fountain every day when in use.
- Historic light fixtures are being reinstalled throughout the building, including the candlestick lighting in the Rotunda and the red and green traffic lighting in the ramps of the Museum of Natural History & Science and Cincinnati History Museum. For six months, nearly 700 light fixtures have been cleaned, repaired or reproduced from original drawings. Each light fixture has also been outfitted with more efficient LED lighting.
- The last of 22 new air handling units fed by three new glycol chillers are coming online this month, part of a massive mechanical system upgrade to replace aging, inefficient systems.
- In the ongoing rebuild of Union Terminal’s west wall, new steel is being installed to replace supplemental steel added in the 1970s when the wall was built following the demolition of the original concourse. As the new steel is installed, a concrete block backup wall is also being built before brick masonry is applied in the coming months.
Number to Know: 44,000 – The historic fountain and its pump system holds a total of 44,000 gallons of water, or enough to fill more than 273 plastic blue kiddie pools. Those 44,000 gallons are cycled through the system at a rate of 2.4 million gallons per day.