Cincinnati Union Terminal is a structure that can be defined as a survivor. Through the years the Union Terminal has had many ups and downs, especially the downs, which would have seen a similar structure in any other city demolished. The city of Cincinnati has stuck with the art deco classic and through their perseverance the Union Terminal still stands a Cincinnati landmark.
In the early part of the 20th century, a Union Terminal was proposed but then delayed due to many factors including World War I. The architects for the building were Alfred T. Fellheimer and Steward Wagner along with Paul Philippe Cret and Roland Wank who brought along the idea of an art deco design. Construction started in 1929 and was completed in 1933. Union Terminal found success early on, especially with transferring soldiers during World War II, but business declined in the 1950’s with airlines and interstates expanding around the country.
Over the years Cincinnati Union Terminal gradually lost passengers and in the early 1970’s there were only around two passenger trains passing through until 1972 when the train service was terminated. At this point things looked bleak for Union Terminal, but the city came through and bought it in 1975. In 1980, a developer converted the terminal into a shopping mall, but the recession at the time caused it to fail and once again it seemed all hope was lost. Later in 1980, the Cincinnati Historical Society and the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History proposed the Union Terminal be used as a joint location for a museum. Voters approved and a budget was set as well as thousands of individual contributions from the people of Cincinnati. After renovations and restorations the Cincinnati Union Terminal was transformed into the Cincinnati Museum Center. Soon after this the passenger service returned from Amtrak.
The story of Cincinnati Union Terminal would have been cut short if the city itself had given up on one of its most unique landmarks. Now, Union Terminal isn’t just a fine example of art deco architecture, but an essential piece to Cincinnati’s storied history. The Union Terminal was another “must miniaturize” on our list and therefore we made two models. The Union Terminal (large) measures 3-7/8 inches by 4-3/4 inches and stands a little over 1-5/8 inches tall. The Union Terminal (small) measures 1-13/16 inches by 2-7/16 inches and stands a little over 1-7/16 inches tall and only features the rotunda of the station.
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