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
Union Terminal’s future has been secured thanks to passage of the Issue 8 ballot initiative, but we continue 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. On November 4, 2014, Union Terminal's future was secured thanks to Hamilton County voters' overwhelming support for Issue 8, which will 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

  • Continue to support the Cultural Facilities Task Force's efforts to outline a restoration plan for Music Hall.
  • Raise awareness about the Music Hall's needs and build a broad base of support for rehabilitation.

Ways To Help

Donate to our campaign to save Cincinnati's Icons.

Posted on May 01, 2015

Music HallWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project ManagerJsandy headshot

Over the past year, we have seen an incredible outpouring of support for Cincinnati’s Icons.  Nearly 25,000 people from across the country have engaged with the National Trust’s campaign to save these historic buildings for future generations.

We celebrated a huge win in November when Hamilton County voters approved a sales tax increase to support the rehabilitation of Union Terminal.  However, Music Hall is still in need of critical preservation funding.

Today, we’d like to share some great news – $57 million in private funding has been raised in support of Music Hall’s first rehabilitation in 40 years, including a recent major gift from the Lindner Family.  The project is now only $10 million short of reaching its total goal, and you can help!  Donations are being accepted online by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

It has been less than a year since Music Hall and Union Terminal were included on the National Trust’s annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.  These icons have made remarkable progress.  Now it’s time to show your support again and help Cincinnati’s Icons reach the finish line!

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 January 06, 2015

Excerpted from Cincinnati Enquirer:

State historic tax credits, especially when leveraged with the federal historic tax credit, have proven critical to enabling the restoration of historic buildings. Music Hall and Union Terminal are iconic buildings whose preservation was uncertain without state and federal historic tax credits.

More about Cinicinnati's Icons >>

Read the full story >>

Posted on December 18, 2014

Music HallWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project ManagerJsandy headshot

Christmas came early today for Music Hall, one of Cincinnati’s Icons, when the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) announced that Music Hall’s rehabilitation effort will receive a one-time catalytic tax credit of $25 million. 

Music Hall was competing against three other buildings across the state for the special tax credit allocation, which is only awarded every other year to a project that will have a catalytic impact on its surrounding neighborhood. ODSA believes that the rehabilitation of Music Hall will have a significant impact on Over-the-Rhine, the West End, and parts of Downtown Cincinnati that are in need of revitalization, and will increase economic activity in local shops and restaurants.

The Task Force has now raised nearly $100 million of the $123 million needed to begin rehabilitation of this iconic building, and the catalytic tax credit will provide the momentum to close the remaining funding gap. Congratulations to our friends at the Cultural Facilities Task Force and the Music Hall Revitalization Company on this fantastic news!  

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 November 07, 2014

Excerpted from 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 in favor of Issue 8. 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."

More about Cincinnati's Icons >>

Read the full story >>

Posted on November 05, 2014

Union Terminal savedWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project ManagerJsandy headshot

Yesterday in Hamilton County, Ohio, preservation was on the ballot … and we had a big win!  

We are happy to report that voters there passed Issue 8, a one-quarter of one-percent sales tax levy that will help restore Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, raising $170 million in public funds over five years. The rehabilitation work at the 81-year-old building, a National Historic Landmark and one of the most iconic Art Deco structures in the country, will cover a major structural makeover, including a new roof and windows, as well as critical updates to outdated mechanical, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure, allowing Union Terminal to serve as home to Cincinnati Museum Center for generations to come.

This summer, you might recall that the National Trust named Union Terminal and Music Hall – two of Cincinnati’s most iconic buildings – to our annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. We also designed both buildings to our National Treasures program. Since then, the National Trust has been on the ground and actively involved in the Yes on 8 Campaign. We launched our first-ever pop-up campaign office, hosted numerous community events, and canvassed relentlessly with our partners. Ultimately, we interacted with over 12,000 voters leading up to Election Day.

As we celebrate today, we invite you to check out some of the highlights from our campaign.

Looking forward, the passage of Issue 8 was the piece of the puzzle that needed to be locked into place for the other icon of Cincinnati – Music Hall. The Cultural Facilities Task Force can now complete important historic tax credit work for both buildings, and will soon have more details to share about the plan to restore Music Hall.

We would like to extend a special thank you to our partners, including the Cultural Facilities Task Force, the Cincinnati Museum Center, the Cincinnati Preservation Association, and the Cincinnati Preservation Collective. We look forward to continuing our work to ensure that both of Cincinnati’s Icons are saved for future generations.

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 November 05, 2014

Excerpted from The Cincinnati Enquirer:

Hamilton County voters decided Tuesday to give Union Terminal its most extreme makeover in 81 years. The county-wide sales tax to fix the building was passing 61 percent to 39 percent late Tuesday with all but a few precincts reporting. Approval of Issue 8, also known as the "icon tax," came after months of planning and bickering over how to move forward with construction and who should pay for it. The five-year, quarter-cent tax will raise about $170 million toward the historic building's $213 million renovation.

More about Cincinnati's Icons >>

Read the full story >>

Posted on November 05, 2014

Excerpted from The News Record:

Champagne and cheers shot off at Union Terminal as supporters and donators gathered to celebrate the passage of Issue 8, which sought to increase the Hamilton County sales tax from 6.75 percent to 7 percent for the Cincinnati Museum Center's renovations. The issue passed with 61.40 percent of the 233,102 votes cast.

More about Cincinnati's Icons >>

Read the full story >>

Posted on November 03, 2014

Union Terminal interiorWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project ManagerJsandy headshot

Hamilton County voters:  the fate of Union Terminal is in your hands.

Tomorrow, you have the power to save Union Terminal by voting Yes on Issue 8 — the one-quarter of one-percent Hamilton County sales tax levy that will help fund a full restoration of one of the country’s most iconic buildings.

Here are some last minute tips:

  • Do you know your polling location? Find it here. Polls are open tomorrow from 6:30 AM - 7:30 PM.
  • Look for “Issue 8 — Sales and Use Tax” on the backside of your ballot. You can look at a sample ballot here.

On Tuesday, we’ll be out canvassing at polling stations around the county. Follow along on social media using hashtag #VoteYesUT, and stayed tuned for more updates as the election results come in.

And remember: every vote counts, including yours on Issue 8!

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 31, 2014

Union Terminal eveningWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project ManagerJsandy headshot

Ten thousand six hundred and sixteen.

That’s the number of Hamilton County voters and supporters we’ve engaged at the Yes on 8 Action Center and through our street team over the past three weeks.

While that six digit number is certainly something we’re proud of, it doesn’t count for much unless people actually turn out to vote next Tuesday. And that’s why we’re writing you today.

Next week, we have the power to save one of Cincinnati's Icons, Union Terminal, by passing Issue 8 – a one-quarter of one percent Hamilton County sales taxes levy that will fund a full restoration of one of the most iconic buildings in the country. As in any election, voter turnout will be key, which is why we’re asking you to take action today and next week to ensure as many yes votes on Issue 8 as possible. Here’s what you can do:

  • Today: Pledge your vote online and share it widely on your social networks. You can search hashtag #VoteYesUT to see what others are saying and sharing, too.
  • Monday, November 3: Join us for the final event at the Yes on 8 Action Center – a fun-filled call-a-thon dedicated to saving Union Terminal. RSVP today and be sure to bring your friends.
  • Tuesday, November 4: Vote! Find your polling location and be sure to vote yes on Issue 8. Pay attention to your ballot because Issue 8 is near the end. Also, be on the lookout for “Issue 8—Sales and Use Tax” in the headline. 

 Together, we can – and will – save Union Terminal. Thank you for your support.

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 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.

Posted on October 06, 2014

Cincinnati Icons Action Center logoWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project ManagerJsandy headshot

The campaign to save Union Terminal is ramping up!

This Thursday evening, the National Trust for Historic Preservation will open the doors to an interactive pop up space designed to build support for Issue 8 — the Hamilton County ballot initiative that would help raise funds needed to restore Union Terminal.

And guess what? You’re invited to the exclusive opening night event!

Yes on 8 Action Center: Opening Night!
Thursday, October 9, 7:00-9:00 PM
511 Walnut Street (Fifth Third Bank Building on Fountain Square)

RSVP For This Free Event >>

A collaboration with the My Union Terminal Campaign Committee, the Yes on 8 Action Center will be your one stop shop for saving an iconic piece of Hamilton County’s history. Visitors will be able to learn more about the restoration plan, add their memories to a community story wall, pledge their vote, and even step inside Union Terminal’s iconic murals for a special photo opp. And of course, there will be boat loads of “Yes on 8” swag for the taking. (Buttons and yard signs, anyone?)

Opening night visitors will also get a sneak peak at a special photo exhibition spotlighting photography from some of Union Terminal’s most passionate supporters.

It’s a night you won’t want to miss! Please RSVP today

Learn more about Issue 8 and how you can get involved by visiting www.MyUnionTerminal.com.

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 September 23, 2014

Union Terminal at nightWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project ManagerJSandy headshot

Like you, we are committed to saving Cincinnati’s Icons.

Today, we’d like to invite you to join the “Yes on 8” campaign to restore Union Terminal.

Appearing on the Hamilton County ballot this November, Issue 8 is our chance to save Union Terminal for future generations. Its passage will generate nearly $170 million in revenue to allow for essential repairs and restoration of this nationally significant landmark.

Please visit the newly-launched My Union Terminal website to pledge your vote, request a yard sign, or volunteer with the campaign. If you don’t live in Hamilton County, consider making a contribution to the “Yes on 8” campaign.

Moving forward, we continue to work hand in hand with our local partners to develop plans for the critical rehabilitation needs of Music Hall. Stay tuned for more information on that effort, as well as an exciting announcement about the National Trust’s support for Union Terminal. 

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 September 11, 2014

Steel Workers Union TerminalWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project ManagerJSandy headshot

Cincinnati’s Union Terminal is remarkable not only for the role it plays as the city’s largest cultural institution, but for the stories it tells about the hundreds of Cincinnatians who helped to build this architectural marvel.  Union Terminal was created in the 1930s by the city’s original “makers” – steel workers, masons, engineers, architects, tile workers, and painters.

It’s with that “maker” ethic in mind that we’re excited about this weekend’s events at Union Terminal.  On Saturday September 13 and Sunday September 14, this inspiring building will play host to the Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire, a community-organized event that is part of the national Maker Faire created by MAKE Magazine.  MAKE describes the event as "the greatest show (and tell) on Earth - a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement." 

Come out to Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire for workshops, exhibits, spectacles, and interactive experiences.  Over 30 makers of all ages and backgrounds will be showing off their gadgets and inventions, along with an independent craft show featuring over 20 vendors as part of a mini market where guests can shop for handmade items to take the experience home with them.

And while you’re there, make sure to show your support for Issue 8, a sales tax levy on the ballot this November that would provide funds to restore Union Terminal.  Stay tuned for more information on how you can support the “Yes on 8” campaign this fall!

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 August 29, 2014

Union Terminal CincinnatiWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project ManagerJSandy headshot

Over the past few months, we have seen an incredible outpouring of support for Cincinnati’s Icons from across the country.  Over 10,000 people signed our petition to put rehabilitation funding for both Union Terminal and Music Hall on the ballot this November.  However, earlier this month two of the Hamilton County Commissioners chose to advance a quarter-cent sales tax in support of Union Terminal only.   

Today, the Cincinnati Museum Center Board of Trustees announced their intention to pursue the full restoration of Union Terminal using private donations, historic tax credits and grants, and the proceeds from the quarter-cent sales tax increase that will now be on the ballot November 4.  If passed, this will result in approximately $170 million in funds to repair Union Terminal for generations to come. 

Although Music Hall is not part of the sales tax, we remain strongly committed to its restoration and will continue to partner with the Cultural Facilities Task Force as alternate funding plans are developed.

The National Trust will be working closely with supporters in Cincinnati and Hamilton County to ensure passage of the sales tax levy this November.  Stay tuned for more information about how you can get involved and show your support!

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 August 07, 2014

Union Terminal and Music HallWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project ManagerJSandy headshot

Yesterday, our efforts to restore Cincinnati’s Icons faced a major setback — the Hamilton County Commissioners declined to include a .25 cent sales tax referendum on the November ballot as part of a comprehensive private-public funding solution to restore Union Terminal and Music Hall.

Instead, two of the Commissioners voted in favor of a last-minute alternate plan for a five-year tax levy that would support repairs for Union Terminal only. Details of this plan have not been shared with the stakeholders or the general public.

As a result, the future of both of Cincinnati’s Icons remains uncertain.

These two buildings are truly among the nation’s architectural treasures, and the National Trust will continue to work with preservation advocates in Cincinnati to determine the best path forward for both of these endangered buildings.

Over the past few months, we were able to gather over 10,000 signatures on our petition to the Commissioners. Though we were unable to get these iconic buildings on the ballot, together we demonstrated a groundswell of local and national support that did not go unnoticed.

We invite you to stay tuned to www.savingplaces.org as this important effort continues.

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 July 30, 2014

Jsandy headshot

Written by Jennifer Sandy, Project Manager

Cincinnati Icons Public Meeting“#SaveOurIcons is about more than two iconic buildings. It’s about legacy…both for the institutions housed within and for our region.” – Jason Dennison, @jasondennison

This tweet from Monday’s action-packed public meeting with the Hamilton County Commissioners encapsulates what the Save Our Icons campaign is all about – leaving a legacy for the next generation of Cincinnatians. And as you can see in the photos, hundreds of supporters turned out to carry that message in person.

As you probably know, the Commissioners are considering whether or not to include a .25 cent sales tax levy on the November ballot as part of a comprehensive private-public funding solution to restore Union Terminal and Music Hall. The National Trust for Historic Preservation supports this plan, which was thoroughly researched over eight months by the Cultural Facilities Task Force.

If you haven’t already, please contact the Hamilton County Commissioners ahead of their decision on August 6th and express your support for a public vote on restoration funding for Union Terminal and Music Hall. Also, please help us spread the word by forwarding this e-mail to your friends and family in the area.

Just like the hundreds of supporters at the public meeting, we need you to speak up for Cincinnati’s Icons.

PS: Will you be at LumenoCity this weekend? Stop by our table in the LumenoCity Village to pick up some Save Our Icons swag! And if you’re feeling really inspired, volunteer for the Save Our Icons Street Team.

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 July 29, 2014

Excerpt from WLWT 5 (Cincinnati, OH):

Citizens got the chance to express their opinions in Sharonville Wednesday night as Hamilton County commissioners listened to a community discussion about the so-called icon tax. Citizens across the county had an opportunity to weigh in on whether the county's sales tax should increase to help pay for the renovation of Music Hall and the repair of Union Terminal.

Read the full story >>

 

 

Posted on July 22, 2014

Jsandy headshotSave our Icons county commissioner mtgWritten by Jennifer Sandy, Project Manager

This is a big week for Cincinnati’s Icons – the first of two community meetings is happening tomorrow, July 23, at 6:30 pm.  Come out to the Sharonville Convention Center (11355 Chester Road) and make your voice heard for Union Terminal and Music Hall!  We need as many supporters as possible to attend—please RSVP with Save our Icons.

If you can’t make this meeting, you’ll still have a chance to speak up at the public hearing on Monday, July 28, at 11 a.m. at the Hamilton County Administration Building (138 E. Court Street, Room 603).

Finally, please sign our petition to the Hamilton County Commissioners asking them to put this issue on the ballot!  We have over 3,000 signatures so far, but we need your support to increase that number.  The time to act is now!  #SpeakForUs!

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 July 16, 2014

Jsandy headshotSave our Icons Fourth of July Parade 2014Written by Jennifer Sandy, Project Manager

It’s been full speed ahead since we announced Cincinnati’s Icons as 11 Most Endangered sites and National Treasures last month.  Thanks to the thousands of people in Cincinnati and across the country that have shown their support, the momentum to save these historic landmarks is growing every day.

But we still need your support to get the issue on the ballot this fall, and we only have 3 weeks to do it!  Please sign our petition to the Hamilton County Commissioners, no matter where you live.  The message from Cincinnati’s Icons is clear – #SpeakForUs!

And if you’re a Cincinnatian, the Save Our Icons campaign needs your help to get the word out – plus, volunteers will get one of these snazzy yellow t-shirts!  There will be many opportunities to get involved, so please sign up today. You can follow Save Our Icons on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too!

Also, be sure to mark your calendar for the first of two public hearings next Wednesday, July 23at 6:30 pm at the Sharonville Convention Center (11355 Chester Road, Cincinnati)– we need as many supporters as possible to attend and make their voices heard!  

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 June 24, 2014

Written by Jennifer Sandy, Project Manager

Never in the 27-year history of the National Trust’s annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places has there been two sites named in the same city … until now.

The city is Cincinnati, which has an incredible collection of historic buildings representing every phase of the city’s growth and development, from river town to today’s vibrant urban center. Among those buildings are two National Historic Landmarks that are facing a pivotal moment in their long history: Music Hall and Union Terminal.

Today, both sites were included on this year’s list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, and both have been added to our portfolio of National Treasures, indicating that the National Trust is committed to finding a long-term preservation solution for them.

Music Hall has the distinction of being the first building constructed through a matching fund grant drive. In 1887, local business owner Reuben Springer challenged the community to raise $125,000 to match his bequest in order to construct Music Hall.

Designed by Samuel Hannaford, the building was originally intended to accommodate both musical performances and industrial expositions. Today, it is home to a number of cultural organizations, including the Cincinnati Arts Association, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Ballet, and the May Festival, the oldest continuous choral festival in the Western Hemisphere.

Music Hall occupies a prominent spot along Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine, one of Cincinnati’s most historic neighborhoods, which has undergone significant revitalization since its inclusion in the 11 Most Endangered list in 2006.

Just one mile west of Music Hall sits another one of Cincinnati’s most beloved icons -- Union Terminal. This Art Deco showpiece was built in 1933 to consolidate the city’s seven railroads and five passenger rail stations.

Union Terminal was designed by Alfred Fellheimer and Steward Wagner, with architects Paul Cret and Roland Wank brought in as design consultants. It features a massive, 180-foot-wide and 106-foot-tall rotunda that today is the second largest half dome in the world.

Treasures of public art can be found throughout the building, including massive glass mosaic murals by Winold Reiss depicting the history of Cincinnati and the United States, and hand-cut linoleum designs by French artist Pierre Bourdelle.

During its peak, Union Terminal could handle 17,000 passengers and 216 trains a day. Now it hosts 1.3 million people annually as the Cincinnati Musem Center, one of the city’s most beloved cultural institutions, including 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.

It may seem strange that these Cincinnati Icons are under threat, as they truly are among the city’s most beloved and well-used public buildings. However, both Music Hall and Union Terminal are suffering from significant deterioration and water damage, and are in need of extensive repairs. A multi-layered, public-private funding strategy for the restoration of both buildings must be identified before these iconic landmarks deteriorate further.

With the announcement today of Union Terminal and Music Hall as National Treasures, we are joining an active local coalition that is advocating for the rehabilitation of these icons. This unprecedented coalition has developed a detailed, thorough plan to rehabilitate Union Terminal and Music Hall with private, corporate donations, and grants, as well as with public financing.

Hamilton County residents should be given the opportunity to show their support for these landmarks. Please join us in urging the Hamilton County Commissioners to join private, corporate donors and put preservation funding for Union Terminal and Music Hall on the ballot this November 4, 2014.

Watch America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places 2014 Video on Youtube.

Please check back often for additional updates on Cincinnati’s Icons.

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Jud Kline, FAIA on November 07, 2014
As a student at Miami University in 1970, I joined with others to work to save the Union Terminal. We initiated a campaign titled "Landmarks are for People". I am pleased to read the Terminal has survived and is now assured of the future for the community. It is interesting to see this process has taken 44 years to complete.
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!

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