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