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Cincinnati’s Union Terminal shows off after $228 million renovation
By Tom Adkinson

CINCINNATI – Union Terminal was spiffy and impressive when it opened in 1933 during the Great Depression, and it’s even spiffier and more impressive now after a two-and-a-half-year full structural renovation that wrapped up in late 2018. The Art Deco gem, highlighted by the largest half-dome in the Western Hemisphere, cost $41 million to build and $228 million to restore. The dome is 180 feet wide and soars 106 feet overhead. The massive structure could handle as many as 216 trains and 17,000 passengers a day. Twenty percent of America’s soldiers in World War II passed through Union Terminal, now a National Historic Landmark.

union terminal
Cincinnati's Union Terminal; image by Tom Adkinson.

Train service is far more modest today, but Union Terminal remains vibrant as the Cincinnati Museum Center. Attractions under one big roof include the Museum of Natural History and Science, where dinosaurs will pose with you for selfies; the Cincinnati History Museum, which houses the Queen of the West replica riverboat; the Duke Energy Children’s Museum; towering glass tile mosaics; and the Rookwood Ice Cream Parlor, where you can get Cincinnati’s favorite local ice cream, Graeter’s.

union terminal
Cincinnati's Union Terminal dome; image by Tom Adkinson.

Trip-planning resources: and

(Travel writer Tom Adkinson’s new book, 100 Things To Do in Nashville Before You Die, is available at

Published April 5, 2019

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