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May 2017 construction update

For over 80 years, spring at Union Terminal has been about the building’s iconic fountain. The historic fountain is center stage again this spring, but in a very different way. After cataloging and carefully removing historic limestone, granite and fountain fixtures around the fountain and plaza, crews are well on their way to completely removing the fountain and plaza area. With only poured concrete remaining, crews have further enclosed the area as a safety precaution as they complete the demolition of the area. But remember, all of this is temporary to allow crews to waterproof the area below the fountain and plaza, which forms a portion of the roof to the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and the Dalton Street tunnel. Once all waterproofing is complete, the fountain and plaza will be precisely rebuilt.

Upcoming Work

  1. The limestone covering the pillars supporting the iconic clock on the front of the building has been removed to reveal the structural steel underneath. With the steel now exposed, structural engineers will assess its condition over a period of two days. With that assessment complete, the engineers will prepare the necessary repairs to be completed over the course of the month. 
  2. The north drum wall in the rear of the building just below Union Terminal’s half dome is in the process of being rebuilt. The drum wall is the exterior wall behind the wall where the Rotunda’s iconic mosaic murals hang. Structural steel has been cleaned and treated using a zinc primer and multi-part paint system to prevent future oxidation that might compromise its integrity. Masons are now in the process of rebuilding the brick back-up wall, which will continue through the month. The next step will be to replace the exterior brick using much of the original brick that was salvaged when it was removed.
  3. Crews are currently grinding the terrazzo tile floor in the historic Losantiville Dining Room to remove glue residue leftover when the carpet was removed. The room was carpeted in the 1980s, covering the red, white and black terrazzo tile seen in the Rotunda of Union Terminal. During the building’s time as an active train station, the Losantiville Dining Room included a serpentine lunch counter, the impression of which is now visible since the carpet removal. The carpet removal and terrazzo grinding are part of the work being done to restore the historic space.
  4. Three new air handling units have arrived in Union Terminal’s south mechanical room. Each massive air handling unit was delivered in five pieces to fit through doorways into the building. They are in the process of being assembled and connected to new ductwork that will make the building more efficient to cool. The air handling units are part of 23 new air handling units that will be installed in the building.
  5. Structural work in the Dalton Street tunnel has closed the tunnel for the duration of the summer, rerouting road traffic. Masons and structural engineers are addressing crumbling concrete and rusting steel to secure the integrity of the tunnel, which runs beneath Union Terminal’s plaza.

Number to know: 478,000 – As part of the mechanical upgrades to make Union Terminal more efficient to operate, over 478,000 pounds of new ductwork is snaking through the building. New HVAC equipment will tie into new and existing ductwork as part of the building’s heating and cooling system.

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