The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, originally Cincinnati Union Terminal, is a passenger railroad station in the Queensgate neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. After the decline of railroad travel, most of the building was converted to other uses, and now houses museums, theaters, and a library.
German American artist Winold Reiss was commissioned to design and create two 22 foot (6.7 m) high by 110 foot (33.5 m) long color mosaic murals depicting the history of Cincinnati for the rotunda, two murals for the baggage lobby, two murals for the departing and arriving train boards, 14 smaller murals for the train concourse representing local industries and the large world map mural located at the rear of the concourse.
The 14 industry murals chosen for the railroad concourse include:
- Piano making (Baldwin Piano Company)
- Radio broadcasting (Crosley Broadcasting Corporation)
- Roof manufacture (Philip Carey Co.)
- Tanning (American Oak Leather Co.)
- Airplane and parts manufacture (Aeronca Aircraft Company)
- Ink making (Ault & Weiborg Corp.)
- Laundry-machinery manufacture (American Laundry Machine)
- Meat packing (Kahn's Meat Packing)
- Drug and chemical processing (William S. Merrill Co.)
- Printing and publishing (U.S. Playing Card Co. and Champion Paper Company)
- Foundry products operations (Cincinnati Milling Machine)
- Sheet steel making (American Rolling Mills and Newport Rolling Mill)
- Soap making (The Procter & Gamble Co.)
- Machine tools manufacture (Cincinnati Milling Machine).
In 1978, Columbus, Ohio real estate development group the Joseph Skilken Organization converted the terminal into a shopping mall known as the "Land of OZ". This was projected to be a family entertainment and shopping complex including a shopping area, roller skating rink, bowling alleys, and restaurants.
These plans were put into action and on August 4, 1980, after 23 months of conversion construction, the mall had its Grand Opening, with 40 tenants. The complex drew on average 7,900 visitors per day and it would see a high of 54 shops or vendors. The recession of the early 1980s caused the project to fall on hard times. In 1981 the first tenant moved out and by 1982 the number of tenants had fallen to 21.
In Popular Culture:
The Art Deco design of Union Terminal inspired the look of the Hall of Justice, the iconic headquarters of DC Comics' Justice League. The Hall of Justice first appeared in the Superfriends animated TV series of the 1970s. It is still used today in DC's current Justice League comics series.
Union Terminal's radio-like design also appears briefly in Batman Forever (represented by a matte painting) as "the Hippodrome," a sports arena. In the film, it is the place where the Haley Bros. Circus performs, and where Dick Grayson's family is killed by Two-Face.