Voters Save Union Terminal
By Sarah Ford on November 5, 2014
Although Union Terminal and Music Hall are among Cincinnati's most beloved and well-used public buildings, they are suffering from significant deterioration and water damage. This November 4, Hamilton County voters will consider passage of Issue 8, which would levy a one-quarter of one percent sales tax over five years to generate $170 million in restoration funds for Union Terminal. Combined with historic tax credits, contributions from the State of Ohio, and philanthropic fundraising efforts, this will allow for the complete repair and restoration of Union Terminal. A multi-layered, public-private funding strategy for the restoration of Music Hall is also under development.
Union Terminal and Music Hall are both National Historic Landmarks with significant connections to major themes in American history, including transportation, art, architecture, and music.
Music Hall, designed by Samuel Hannaford, was built in 1878 with private money raised from what is believed to be the nation’s first matching grant fund drive. It is located in Over-the-Rhine, a nationally significant neighborhood that has undergone significant revitalization, and is home to the Cincinnati Arts Association, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Ballet, and the May Festival.
Union Terminal, an iconic symbol of Cincinnati and one of the most significant Art Deco structures in the country, opened in 1933 with a capacity of 216 trains a day. The second largest half dome in the world, the 180-foot-wide and 106-foot-tall rotunda features glass mosaic murals by Winold Reiss depicting the history of Cincinnati and the United States. As the Cincinnati Museum Center, the largest cultural institution in the city, Union Terminal houses the Cincinnati History Museum, Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History and Science, and the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater.