Cincinnati Union Terminal Mosaic & Mural Conservation

Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati Union Terminal was built in the Art Deco style in 1933 by the firm of Fellheimer & Wagner. Fellheimer was the lead architect for Grand Central Terminal and Buffalo Central Terminal. For almost 40 years, Union Terminal provided rail services to both passenger and freight lines. Union Terminal is currently a mixed-use facility, housing the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History and Science, and the Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater. It became listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and then designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

As a whole, Cincinnati Union Terminal underwent a massive two-year renovation, starting in 2016. EverGreene Architectural Arts began work on site in November 2017. The scope of work was divided into two phases. The first phase took approximately four months and included the conservation of eight, monumental glass mosaic murals designed by Winold Reiss. (The two largest panels were 22′ x 110′.) The murals depict the history of Cincinnati, the people involved with the engineering and construction of Union Terminal, as well as the various industries in the area. Treatment for these iconic mosaics included surface cleaning, washing the glass tiles with a mild solution, patching and repairing of the tinted mortar in the background as needed, and replacement in kind of missing tiles.

The second phase began in August 2018 and the scope consisted of conservation of 24 Bourdelle paintings and a ceiling mural in the Losantville Dining Room. The 24 Bourdelle paintings were shipped from Cincinnati to EverGreene’s Brooklyn studio for treatment. Our goal was to stabilize them, remove discolored varnish where extant, and support all canvases on secondary supports.  On site, EverGreene conservators removed discolored varnish from the ceiling mural, stabilized, made repairs, and in-painted sections of the mural.