Cincinnati Art Museum

Union Terminal Rotunda and Cincinnati History Museum

Exterior photo of Union terminal rotunda

Conference participants who are interested in Cincinnati’s historical development should sign up for the excursion to the city’s splendid 1933 Union Terminal train station, which now houses four museums, an Omnimax theater, the Cincinnati Historical Society library, a four-manual E. M. Skinner organ, as well as the terminal for Amtrak. Built for the grand sum of $41 million, the terminal was designed to handle 216 trains per day, 108 incoming and an equal number outgoing. Through mid century the terminal averaged only 128 trains each weekday, but it reached its full capacity during World War II. The terminal features a soaring Art Deco design by the New York architectural firm of Felheimer and Wagner.

Interior of Cincinnati Terminal RotundaThe central rotunda includes two 25 x 105-foot mosaic and frescoed murals by the German immigrant Winold Reiss. Each mural can be read on several different planes, and both begin with pioneer times and end in mid-1933. For $15, conference participants will enjoy a 45-minute tour of the rotunda and a guided tour of the Cincinnati History Museum that charts Cincinnati’s history from 1788 and its beginning as Camp Washington through the mid-twentieth century. Highlights include a replica of the Cincinnati riverfront during its early years, a ninety-four foot replica of a steamboat, a reproduction of the Public Landing of c.1850 (where an aspiring songwriter named Stephen Foster worked), and a fifty-foot model of the Miami-Erie Canal.