Julie Lyles Carr: Museum Trollin'

Friday, August 23, 2013

Museum Trollin'


Well, just wowza.

Cincinnati boasts a responsive and helpful social media environment. As I was tweeting about our journey to the city, Cincinnati USA CVB tweeted to welcome me to their beautiful town and gave me great information on places to eat and places to visit. Cincinnati Museum Center soon chimed in and Mike and I carved out some time to go take a look.

The Cincinnati Museum Center is located in the historic Union Terminal, which opened for operation since 1933. It was a hub of railroad travel and commerce but as Americans began to drive and fly more frequently, the station saw a huge decline. For a period of time in the mid-1980's, there was discussion of tearing the station down, but thankfully a bond was passed which took that option off the table. Union Terminal was reopened in 1990 with three museums, an Omnimax theater, a research library and the Cincinnati Railway Club that allows visitors to have a bird's eye view of the rail yard from Tower A.

I have a deep adoration of art deco era buildings, so as we pulled into the drive, my heart gave a little flip. This facade with its iconic clock greeted us.

Union Station

Union Station clock

Yea, I may have to put those on canvas and hang them up in my house. Serious clock crush going on...


Once we got inside, we were greeted by a sunrise of a ceiling...


The rotunda is stunning. Simply stunning. I asked if the yellows and oranges were original to the building and was told that they are. It's such an unexpected splash of vibrant color in an art deco era building, a departure from the deep greens, mahoganies and pale pinks.

Union Station rotunda

May have to print this one to canvas as well. It just makes me smile.

My obsession with doors handles and hinges was well rewarded...

Push handle

Push 2

One of the aspects of art deco that I adore is the geometry of straight and curved lines.  The window bars throughout the building reflected that beautifully.


I kept waiting for Jay Gatsby to stride through the doors...


I even became a bit enamored with the giant vents in the galleries that used to serve as automobile bays where passengers for train travel could be dropped off by car.


I've got loads more pictures to get posted of various exhibits and features. But for now, I just wanted to share a small taste of a delightful afternoon. Cincinnati Museum Center/Union Terminal? Bravo. And bravo to the Cincinnatians who refused to let this landmark crumble and fade away. What a treasure.

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