Union Terminal is just weeks away from completing the first full structural restoration in its 85-year history. With the temporary lobby now removed, guests are getting their first look at a refreshed Rotunda. Glass storefront openings to a new public safety office and both Rotunda elevators replicate the historic storefronts that once served as gateways to shops and offices when the building first opened.
As crews begin the finishing touches across the building, here’s a look at how else crews are working to restore Union Terminal this month.
1. The rebuild of the historic fountain is now complete, with the last of the green pigmented terrazzo applied to its surface. This month, the fountain will be filled with 44,000 gallons of water and its jets and sprayers tested as the final step of bringing this iconic feature back to life.
2. With its gears and mechanisms fully cleaned, balanced and repaired, the clock on the face of our Art Deco masterpiece is returning this month. Crews will carry the internal mechanism up five flights of stairs piece by piece before reassembling it on site. The hour and minute hands, measuring more than six and seven feet long, will then be lifted up and reinstalled. Guests will be greeted by the familiar neon glow of the hands by the end of the month.
3. Art conservators are cleaning ceiling murals in the Losantiville Dining Room using diluted acetone to carefully remove decades of smoke, soot and grime. The jungle scene carved into linoleum on the walls inside the private dining room entrance is also being cleaned with a slightly alkaline solution applied with a cotton swab.
4. The historic Union Terminal President’s Office is undergoing extensive plaster repairs to address water damage and to accommodate new heating and cooling systems and adjustments to the sprinkler systems.
5. The building’s updated cooling system is now up and running. The three new centrifugal chillers will pump chilled air throughout Union Terminal’s 500,000 square feet with the help of 23 new air handling units and an updated ice storage system. The system operates by chilling pipes with cooled water and blowing air across those pipes, which is then distributed across the building through 478,000 pounds of new ductwork.
6. The rebuild of the west wall continues. The concrete backup wall is now finished, strengthened by steel rods woven throughout, and masons are applying face brick, the final step of this major masonry project.
Number to Know: 5,200 – 5,200 gallons of paint will be used across Union Terminal’s historic, gallery and office spaces. That’s enough paint to fill more than 693 kiddie pools.