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Passage of Issue 8 secures future for Union Terminal

Home of Cincinnati Museum Center will continue to make memories for tomorrow’s generations

CINCINNATI – The citizens of Hamilton County have spoken and the word is a resounding YES! Voters took to the polls to declare their support and love for Union Terminal , a building that is the centerpiece of memories for millions across multiple generations.

Union Terminal
Union Terminal
Now its future is secure and it will be the building block for future generations to make their own memories. With the community’s support, Issue 8, a one-quarter of one percent sales tax increase expiring after five years, has passed by the voters of Hamilton County.
In its 81 years, Union Terminal has played host to presidents, soldiers going off to and coming home from war, celebrities of all sorts and millions of smiling visitors and families. In the course of those years, the building has also suffered the effects of aging and found itself in dire need of repair, putting the building’s future in serious jeopardy. With the support of the citizens of Hamilton County, the future of Union Terminal, Cincinnati Museum Center and the community has been secured.
“On behalf of this grand building, let me say thank you to the citizens of Hamilton County and our supporters from across the region and that nation,” says Douglass McDonald, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center, housed in Union Terminal. “Community support for Union Terminal has been strong throughout the summer and certainly in the last days of the campaign. The citizens have spoken and they have proudly declared their love and appreciation for Union Terminal.”
Support came from throughout the community. From those who saw their fathers and grandfathers off to war, young children who spoke of the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and the time spent their with their family, superhero enthusiasts hoping to save the Hall of Justice and those who could not imagine the Cincinnati region without Union Terminal standing guard along I-75.
There was also significant support from the business, philanthropic and cultural leaders of the city. The Cultural Facilities Task Force, under the leadership of Bob McDonald, devoted thousands of hours of professional and volunteer expertise to better understand the repair needs of Union Terminal and Music Hall, to develop funding scenarios and to educate the community. With leaders and support from theGreater Cincinnati Foundation and the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, the Cultural Facilities Task Force was instrumental in providing the groundwork for the plan that will now restore Union Terminal.
“Without the leadership and support of the Cultural Facilities Task Force and the passion and expertise they put into this project, we never would have been able to achieve our goal of fully restoring Union Terminal,” says McDonald. “Mu Sinclaire is now continuing what Bob McDonald started and we look forward to working with him and the rest of the Task Force as we complete the repair work on Union Terminal and find a long-term solution for the restoration of Music Hall.”
While those in the community have declared Union Terminal a local treasure, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the building a National Treasure earlier this summer. Annually the National Trust for Historic Preservation releases their list of the 11 Most Endangered Places , with both Union Terminal and Music Hall making the list for 2014. It also selects some of those places as National Treasures, lending manpower and resources to their cause. National Trust staff spent valuable energy and time in Cincinnati, carrying on the grassroots efforts to inform the community and rally support.
The successful passage of Issue 8 is certainly cause for celebration for those who love and support Union Terminal, but for those who call it home it means the real work begins. Union Terminal leaders will enter into the initial phase of finalizing historic tax credits and design documents over the course of the next 12 to 18 months before construction begins.
“There will still be plenty of time for guests to enjoy the incredible experiences that our three museums,OMNIMAX® Theater and special exhibits have to offer before work truly begins on the complete restoration of Union Terminal,” McDonald says. “We look forward to forging a strong public-private partnership with Hamilton County as we complete this journey that started with the results of today’s election.”

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