Discover / Cincinnati’s Icons
Save a National Treasure
REGION: Midwest
LOCATION:
Cincinnati, OH
TYPE: Building
Union Terminal. Courtesy Cincinnati Museum Center
Union Terminal. Courtesy Cincinnati Museum Center
Opportunity
Ensure passage of Issue 8, the Hamilton County ballot initiative that would help raise funds needed to restore Union Terminal, while continuing to support strategies to rehabilitate Music Hall.

Overview

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.

National Significance

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.

Campaign Goals

  • Ensure passage of Issue 8 to restore Union Terminal.
  • Continue to support the Cultural Facilities Task Force's efforts to outline a restoration plan for Music Hall.
  • Raise awareness about the buildings’ needs and build a broad base of support for rehabilitation.

Ways To Help

Visit the Yes on 8 Action Center to learn more about Issue 8

Donate to our campaign to save Cincinnati's Icons.

Posted on October 24, 2014

Cincinnati Icons Yes on 8 Honk and WaveWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project ManagerJSandy headshot

When the Yes on 8 Action Center opened its doors earlier this month, we set an ambitious goal to personally engage 8,000 voters on Issue 8 before Election Day.

Today, just 12 days out from the election, we’re excited to announce that we’re more than halfway there! So far, we’ve engaged 4,700 supporters at the Action Center and throughout Hamilton County – more than 2,000 of which came from events held this week alone!

Between a guest lecture on World War II history to rowdy “honk and wave” pep rallies at intersections across town, we can tell you that the energy around Union Terminal is palpable. If you haven’t already (or if you want to again), now is the perfect time to join the fun. The Yes on 8 Action Center is open Monday-Friday from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM at 511 Walnut Street in the Fifth Third Bank Building breezeway between Fountain Square and Walnut Street (right behind the Potbelly Sandwich Shop). Here’s a quick digest of our upcoming special events and appearances:

  • Saturday, October 25 – Bat Fest @ Union Terminal: Did you know that a colony of bats lives inside Union Terminal? Say hello to the museum’s resident big brown bats and explore the world's largest artificial limestone cave during this daylong celebration. We’ll be there for all the action with tons of campaign swag for the taking.
  • Sunday, October 26 – Bengals Tailgate Party on Fountain Square: This Sunday, the Bengals square off against the Baltimore Ravens. Join the Yes on 8 Campaign on Fountain Square from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM as we get ready for kickoff.  
  • Monday, October 27 – I-71 Super Honk: Join us from 4:00-6:00 PM as we take over the pedestrian bridge spanning I-71 near the Evanston Playground. We’ll be hosting a “Yes on 8” pep rally that thousands of evening commuters will be honking about. All you have to do is show up, wear some swag, and shake a pom pom or two. The Evanston Playground is located at 3558 Evanston Avenue. Learn more and RSVP!
  • Tuesday, October 28 – Share Your Story @ The Yes on 8 Action Center: Everyone has a story about Union Terminal. Come share yours with other supporters from 7:00-9:00 PM during a special reception hosted at the Yes on 8 Action Center. Please bring any memorabilia you have, including old photos, ticket stubs, and newspaper clippings. We’ll have a special scanning station setup to capture your memories, as well as a video booth so you can say it all in your own words. The best part? Your Union Terminal story will live on forever. All stories shared during this reception will become part of the Cincinnati History Library and Archives! Learn more and RSVP!
  • Thursday, October 30 – Pop-Up Concert with the Young Heirlooms: Join us from 7:00-9:00 PM at the Yes on 8 Action Center as the Young Heirlooms play a special live concert dedicated to the campaign to save Union Terminal. Kelly Fine and Chris Robinson have been captivating audiences in the Midwest for the past three years. Their band’s name – Young Heirlooms – articulates their style and take on their fused genre. Young alludes to the modern spin on the traditional sound of folk music, and heirlooms are items or ideologies handed down from generation to generation – much like Union Terminal! Learn more and RSVP!
  • Friday, October 31 – Halloween on Fountain Square: Try out your costume early at the sixth annual Fountain Square Costume Contest, to be held on the main stage from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM. The Yes on 8 Action Center will be handing out special treats, and who knows – maybe Union Terminal will work up the courage to enter the contest!

We hope you can join us next week. If not, don’t fret — we’re open every week all the way through Election Day!

PS: Let your friends and family know that you support Issue 8 by pledging your vote online

Please check back often for additional updates on Cincinnati’s Icons. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on October 22, 2014


Written by Jennifer Sandy, Project Manager

You know what's amazing? Seeing the "Yes on 8" campaign hit the air here in Hamilton County!

The television ad below features longtime resident Bev Levine as she shares her unique Union Terminal story, which includes sending her husband off during World War II and watching his triumphant return in the same amazing and inspiring space.

This ad actually represents what I love most about this campaign – hearing the countless personal stories people have about this building and how it has been with their families generations. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Please check back often for additional updates on Cincinnati’s Icons. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on October 17, 2014

Cincinnati Icons Action Center collageWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project ManagerJSandy headshot

The Yes on 8 Action Center is off to a great start! In our first week alone, we’ve reached nearly 1,600 voters and supporters and hosted several great events related to the Cincinnati's Icons National Treasure.

Have you visited yet? Grab a friend, neighbor, co-worker, or family member and come on down. We’re open Monday-Friday from 11:00 AM 6:00 PM at 511 Walnut Street in the Fifth Third Bank Building breezeway between Fountain Square and Walnut Street (right behind the Potbelly Sandwich Shop).

  • Saturday — Fossil Fest: Saturday, October 18, from 10:00 AM 3:00 PM at the Cincinnati Museum Center.
  • Sunday — Bengals Tailgate Party: Sunday, October 19, from 1:00-5:00 PM on Fountain Square.
  • Tuesday — Share Your Union Terminal Story: Everyone has a story about Union Terminal. Come share yours on Tuesday, October 21, from 7:00-9:00 PM at the Action Center! Bring in old photos of you and Union Terminal, help us build out our Union Terminal story wall, and have your story recorded for the Cincinnati History Library and Archives. Please RSVP for you … and a guest!
  • Thursday — Guest Lecture: Union Terminal During WW II: During World War II, Union Terminal served as a major transportation hub for soldiers shipping off to war — and returning home. Join staff from the Cincinnati History Museum on Thursday, October 23, at the Yes on 8 Action Center at 7:00 PM to learn about the role of Union Terminal during WW II and its lasting impacts on the region. Please RSVP for you…and a guest!

We hope you can join us next week. If not, don’t fret — we’re open every week all the way through Election Day!

Please check back often for additional updates on Cincinnati’s Icons. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.


Posted on October 10, 2014

Yes on 8 Action Center Union TerminalWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project ManagerJsandy headshot

It’s official — the Yes on 8 Action Center is open! Check out these awesome photos from our opening night party.

Want to get a yard sign, button, or just learn more about Issue 8? Grab a friend, neighbor, co-worker, or family member and come visit us! We’re open Monday-Friday from 11:00 AM 6:00 PM at 511 Walnut Street in the Fifth Third Bank Building breezeway between Fountain Square and Walnut Street (right behind the Potbelly Sandwich Shop).

We’re also planning to spread some #VoteYesUT love at festivals and events in and around town this weekend. Here’s our schedule for the next few days:

  • Saturday — City Flea: Saturday, October 11, from 12:00-4:00 PM in Washington Park.
  • Saturday — Kennedy Heights/Pleasant Ridge Arts and Music Festival: Saturday, October 11, from 5:00-7:00 PM at the corner of Kennedy Avenue and Montgomery Road.
  • Sunday — Second Sunday on Main: Sunday, October 12, from 12:00-5:00 PM on Main Street between 13th and Liberty Streets.
  • Tuesday — Preservation Pop Up @ the Action Center: Join us on Tuesday, October 14, at the Yes on 8 Action Center (511 Walnut Street) from 7:00-9:00 PM for a special event and reception hosted by the Cincinnati Preservation Collective. Please RSVP for you…and a guest!
  • Thursday — Special Guest Lecture @ the Action Center: Join us on Thursday, October 16, at the Yes on 8 Action Center (511 Walnut Street) from 7:00-9:00 PM for a special lecture by Cincinnati Preservation Association’s Executive Director Paul Muller on his organization’s long history of saving Union Terminal, as well as their current involvement to preserve the Terminal’s irreplaceable mosaic murals. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A and a reception sponsored by the Preservation Leadership Forum of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Please RSVP for you…and a guest!

We hope you can join us next week. If not, don’t fret — we’re open every week all the way through Election Day!

PS: Let your friends and family know that you support Issue 8 by pledging your vote online.

Please check back often for additional updates on Cincinnati’s Icons. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

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Gretchen Olheiser on September 02, 2014
I'm happy to see some of Cincinnati's icons. My paternal roots started in Riley, Ohio in a blacksmith shop run by my great-grandfather. Any Ohio connection is interesting to me.
Michael Manning on July 01, 2014
Although my broadcasting career has taken me outside my hometown of Cincinnati, at this time, my online series on Union Terminal and the need to maintain this "crown jewel" of the city's cultural history, along with its bright future is very important to me. Please count on my ongoing support. Michael Manning former Helicopter Reporter WLWT TV 5
Jennifer Sandy, National Trust for Historic Preservation on June 25, 2014
Cincinnati is full of architectural treasures, but few stand out as prominently as Union Terminal and Music Hall. As an Art Deco fanatic, it’s hard for me not to gasp every time I walk inside Union Terminal’s dramatic rotunda. Cincinnati Museum Center has been a phenomenal steward of this building, painstakingly restoring the spaces that are less frequently seen by the public, but it’s time for an extensive rehabilitation to make this jewel shine even more brightly. As for Music Hall, its commanding presence along Washington Park is one of the focal points of a truly unique urban neighborhood in Over-the-Rhine. Cincinnati has inherited an amazing architectural legacy, now it’s time to show support for saving these icons!
Paul Muller, Cincinnati Preservation Association on June 25, 2014
The creation of Music Hall and Union Terminal represented civic commitment at its finest. In both cases Cincinnati built innovative structures that served the public and inspired awe. Today we have a rare chance to be part of that original effort and to extend the vision of the early leaders. They made Cincinnati a great city for their time, we can renew these buildings for a great future. Don’t miss out on being part of your own history!

Campaign Overview

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