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Union Terminal awarded $5 million in Ohio historic tax credits

CINCINNATI – Union Terminal was one of 36 buildings awarded Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits Wednesday. The Art Deco icon and National Historic Landmark received $5 million of the $35 million in tax credits awarded by the Ohio Development Services Agency.  

“We are grateful for the state’s recognition of one of its most historic buildings and realize how much it means to have been selected out of so many deserving projects across the state,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center, housed in historic Union Terminal. “As the restoration of Union Terminal continues to draw national attention to Ohio, we appreciate this investment by the state to ensure its continued role as a significant economic driver in the region.”

Union Terminal, built between 1929 and 1933, served as a key rail hub until 1973. During World War II over three million soldiers passed through its grand Rotunda. Since rail operations ceased in 1973, the building was home to a science center and mall before becoming the home of Cincinnati Museum Center in 1990. Since 1990, over 18 million guests have visited Cincinnati Museum Center, including one million last year, making the building’s economic impact crucial to southwest Ohio.

The National Historic Landmark has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects as one of the 150 favorite pieces of American architecture, claiming the 45th spot, the highest of any Ohio building.

“Preserving these historic buildings creates opportunities for small businesses and revitalizes downtowns,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Service Agency. “We’re capitalizing on what makes Ohio unique.”

Construction for the restoration of Union Terminal kicked off in July 2016 and is expected to wrap up by late fall 2018. The $219 million project is the first full structural restoration in Union Terminal’s eight decades and will secure the building’s long-term future by addressing the structural steel, exterior masonry, building envelope, restoration of interior historic spaces and upgrading mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is administered in partnership with the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. The State Historic Preservation Office determines if a property qualifies as a historic building and that the rehabilitation plans comply with the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.