What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

25 April 2017

U is for Union #AtoZChallenge

Join me on the A to Z Challenge: I'll share a different thing from my new home, Cincinnati, every day for 26 days in April.

On a trip to Cincy last summer, we were rolling along the interstate and my mother asked, "What's that building?" Being as I hadn't moved here yet, I said, "I don't know."

It's a much more impressive sight when it's not behind a fence and
heavy construction equipment. Not that I know that from personal
experience, but I've seen some lovely pictures.
That building is, or rather was, Cincinnati Union Terminal. These days it's the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, with the heyday of rail travel long behind it. Just one lonely train comes through three times per week (in the middle of the night in both directions--yes, I've looked into it), connecting Chicago to New York via many Midwest cities.

Poor dear looks like a kid that's had a bit of a skateboarding incident.
Renovation is meant to be finished in 2018.
Union Terminal first opened in 1933, unfortunately arriving just after rail travel had peaked in the U.S., so it came to be seen as a boondoggle before many years had gone by. Before the station was built, though, Wikipedia says: "intercity passenger traffic was split among no fewer than five stations in Downtown Cincinnati, requiring the many travelers who changed between railroads to navigate local transit themselves." Y'all. I can only hope local transit was easier to navigate in the early 20th century than it is now. I'm very good at transit and I find the local system nearly impossible.

Gotta love old train station font.
Union Terminal has been the subject of a few preservation movements in its many years, which is basically the only reason it's still standing. And thank goodness, because wow, what a loss that would be if it were gone. It was placed on the National Register in 1972.

I'm looking forward to getting a better pic of the mural and the rotunda
once the scaffolding comes down and I'm allowed inside.
So, here's a cool thing I just learned today: Winold Reiss created a bunch of mosaic murals just for Union Terminal, depicting life and industry in Cincinnati in the early 1930s. When part of the terminal was torn down in 1972, fourteen murals were moved to the airport (nine of them have just been moved back downtown in the past year because of demolition and construction at the airport), a couple were moved within the terminal itself and eventually made it to one of the museums, the ones in the rotunda remain, and alas... one was destroyed along with its home, being too large and expensive to move.

I wonder what's in there.
It has museums in it, so it's a safe bet this will not be my last trip to Union Terminal. Plus, y'all know how obsessed I am with transit. Sooner or later, I'll be getting on that train.

In the spirit of the word "union," here's a thing that has nothing to do with Union Terminal: the building where I go to work every day was the home of the International Union of United Brewery, Flour, Cereal, Soft Drink and Distillery Workers (a name which makes our org's somewhat convoluted name seem downright boring by comparison) before they merged with the Teamsters in 1973. Their legacy remains in the building, though:
Just one of many union touches.

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