Cincinnati Union Terminal

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Cincinnati Union Terminal

Postby Poppy3 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:43 pm

Planning to take DW and her two sisters on our first Amtrak trip this summer. The most difficult thing to work out for me is how best to handle getting to and from the station. Do I park a good car in the parking lot for three weeks? Can I do that, and would it be there when I Get back? Can I rent a car in Lexington and leave it at the station? Should we spend the previous night at a downtown hotel and see if they would leave us off at the station at 2 AM? The train leaving in the middle of the night and local services are making this first one difficult to plan. Is anyone familiar with this station and the traintoChicago? Does someone have a good procedure for handling four people and their luggage and a car parked for three weeks?
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Re: Cincinnati Union Station

Postby Tadman » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:58 pm

I'd call your hotel to see if they can arrange a taxi for you. The station is not in the best area (not awful, just not where I'd leave my car for a long time). Also, keep up to date with the train over the web or the 800 number. I've been on this train 6 hours late before, there's no sense in getting to the station at o-dark-thirty to sit on your duff for six hours.

I lived outside of Cinci for four years in college, and I never took this train once. The unfortunate fact is that the train is one step from useless due to poor timekeeping and a crummy Indy-Chicago routing. My buddy from Lexington flies or drives to Chicago every time, and I don't blame him.
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Re: Cincinnati Union Station

Postby Poppy3 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:26 pm

Thanks for the input. I can easily have them come to my place in Al and catch the train in early afternoon in Birmingham. That would route us through DC to Chicago! Could also catch it in Ky, but no baggage handling.
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Re: Cincinnati Union Station

Postby kmillard » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:39 pm

Enjoy the trip.
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Re: Cincinnati Union Station

Postby kmillard » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:41 pm

"Government isn't the solution to our problems, government IS the problem."

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Re: Cincinnati Union Station

Postby markhb » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:24 am

The station is not in the best area (not awful, just not where I'd leave my car for a long time).

I take it that, unfortunately, the station is not actually patrolled by the Super Friends?
Image

(Sorry, but if this station is to have its own thread, I thought that particular connection needed to be made :) ).
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Re: Cincinnati Union Station

Postby gokeefe » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:18 am

The Cincinnati Business Courier has coverage of the current debate by Hamilton County, Ohio Comissioners regarding raising the funds necessary to renovate Cincinnati Union Terminal and the local Music Hall.

Hamilton County commissioners voted Wednesday to hold a public hearing on whether to increase the county’s sales tax to pay for repairs to two Cincinnati icons – Union Terminal and Music Hall. “The best airing of this is in a public setting,” said Chip Gerhardt, a spokesman for the Cultural Facilities Task Force, which is studying what repairs are needed and how to pay for them. “These are public buildings and this is a public discussion. The public has not only the right, but the responsibility to determine the fate of these two facilities.” Democratic Commissioner Todd Portune and Republican Commissioner Greg Hartmann voted for the resolution. Republican Commissioner Chris Monzel, who is up for re-election this year, voted “no.” Commissioners emphasized that they were only having a hearing and not ready to place a sales tax initiative on the ballot for this fall.


Amtrak remains an essentially irrelevant presence at this station, which is served by the thrice weekly Cardinal. Much like Kansas City Union Station, Cincinnati Union Terminal has managed to remain open by being converted for use as a museum. Although there is no apparent future plans for improved Amtrak service to Cincinnati the station seems likely to remain in place for the long term.
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Re: Cincinnati Union Station

Postby Station Aficionado » Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:31 am

Unfortunately, it is not really fit for service anymore for much of anything beyond the current 3x/week service. The concourse was demolished when Amtrak left in 1972. There is only one track with one side platform left for passenger service. There is no way, absent a huge expenditure of funds to buy land from CSX or NS, to re-expand. Also, given the massive amount of freight traffic (and resulting congestion) on the west side of the station and on northward through Mill Creek Valley, it's very tough getting a passenger train in and out of their in any sort of timely fashion. While it's great that the building has been preserved (and I would love to see it become a truly active station again), the better course would likely be to build a new facility on the riverfront near downtown.
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Re: Cincinnati Union Station

Postby gokeefe » Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:13 pm

Station Aficionado wrote:While it's great that the building has been preserved (and I would love to see it become a truly active station again), the better course would likely be to build a new facility on the riverfront near downtown.


Reading through the station history on the Cincinnati Museum Center website I am having a very hard time imaging the locals approving of anything else. They have spent some very substantial amounts of tax dollars to renovate and restore the station. The only logical outcome will be an eventual restoration of more passenger rail service. I certainly wouldn't exclude the possibility of other alternatives but I am having a hard time seeing a political equation develop where suddenly the residents of Hamilton County would spend grants or revenues elsewhere.

Here are some of the briefs from the website describing public investment:

In 1986, Hamilton County approved Issue 3, a $33 million bond levy, to support the conversion of Union Terminal into a museum facility, which was passed by county voters in May of 1986. The State of Ohio and the City of Cincinnati also contributed $8 million and $3 million respectively to support the project. In addition, more than 3,000 Cincinnati individuals, corporations, and foundations also contributed to the building’s renovation.


In 2004, Hamilton County residents again supported Union Terminal by passing a five year operating levy which helped to provide for the occupancy costs of Union Terminal and provided some funds for capital repairs. In 2009, Cincinnati Museum Center began Project One, a year-long restoration and stabilization of the Southwest wing of Union Terminal. This project, funded by public funds from the 2004 Levy and the State of Ohio, resulted in a comprehensive ground to roof restoration including structural, roof, and exterior masonry repairs, new windows and a new HVAC system, as well as the restoration of two historic spaces, the formal dining room and the three historic dining rooms used by train passengers and locals alike.


By the end of the project, both historic spaces had been brought back to their original splendor and the structural concerns had been addressed. This project has provided valuable insight into the cost and needs for a full restoration of Union Terminal. In 2009, Hamilton County residents approved an extension of the 2004 levy to continue to sustain Union Terminal.


All told they are probably in excess of $100,000,000 invested in the terminal at this point. In regards to the concourse I think that is a relatively small problem that is generally solvable. The real question is where are the funds going to come from to rebuild the route to Chicago but that is probably best discussed in the Ohio Regional Amtrak Service thread.
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Re: Cincinnati Union Station

Postby Station Aficionado » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:16 pm

It's worth noting that the now-aborted 3-C project would have entailed a new Cincinnati station nearer to downtown.
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Re: Cincinnati Union Station

Postby gokeefe » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:11 pm

Among a handful of overlooked results from the November election was the passage of a levy to preserve Cincinnati Union Terminal at a cost of approximately $172,000,000.

This extraordinary development will likely help support the movement to increase regional passenger rail service to Cincinnati.

From the Huffington Post.

Since it opened in 1933, Union Terminal has served as both a cultural hub for the city of Cincinnati and one of the most iconic Art Deco structures in the nation. Now, thanks to local citizens who voted "yes" on Issue 8, it will continue to fill both roles for generations to come.

Yesterday, voters in Cincinnati and throughout Hamilton County decided overwhelmingly (61% to 39%) in favor of Issue 8. The ballot measure will increase the sales tax in Hamilton County by one-quarter of one percent over a total of five years and raise nearly $172 million in revenue for the restoration of Union Terminal, making this one of the country's largest sales tax issues supporting a preservation project.

Roughly $40 million will also be raised for the project through state of Ohio capital grants, state and federal historic tax credits, and private funds.

"One of the reasons we advocated for the passage of Issue 8 is that it wouldn't be just left to taxpayers," says Jason Clement, the National Trust's director of community outreach. "The financial burden is not on any one single group, and by voting yes, tax payers are eager to see how Union Terminal can be a model for partnerships going forward."
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Re: Cincinnati Union Station

Postby gokeefe » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:48 am

Renovation project continues to move forward. Budget is set at $213,000,000. Pretty impressive.

For more read this article from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The project will replace the roof, windows, heating and air conditioning, and other deteriorating parts of the structure. The project does not include new exhibits or space, but Museum Center officials have said the work will spur new investment from donors and will make it possible to expand exhibits in the future.


Excellent to see the HVAC and mechanical included. I'm sure this will also help reduce operating costs as well.
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Re: Cincinnati Union Station

Postby gokeefe » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:22 am

Work continues on the renovation. Published in October from the Cincinnati Enquirer:

It's been about four months since restoration began on Union Terminal, which opened in 1933 as a railroad station. The $212.7 million project, mostly funded by a voter-approved Hamilton County sales tax, focuses on replacing and repairing deteriorating parts of the Art Deco icon.

The effort marks the first full renovation of the Fellheimer & Wagner-designed building.

On Thursday, museum center staff and project leaders gave a behind-the-scenes look of the ongoing construction, slated to take place through October 2018.
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Re: Cincinnati Union Station

Postby gokeefe » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:25 am

This article from the Cincinnati Business Courier has even more photos of the mechanical work that is being done at the station.
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Re: Cincinnati Union Terminal

Postby scratchy » Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:14 pm

Perhaps finding some Superheros, and renaming it "the Halls of Justice"?
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