Cincinnati Union Terminal is an architectural gem in the Queen City’s crown.
The art deco-style railroad terminal opened in the early 30s and during World War II it served as a “major transfer point for soldiers,” handling “as many as 34,000 passengers on some days.”
Today it’s a cultural and entertainment destination with three museums, the Cincinnati Historical Society Library and an OMNIMAX theatre tucked comfortably into the massive, 10-story building.
Standing for more than 75 years, Union Terminal is in need of significant repair to stem damage that threatens its future. Tax dollars will be needed to save the public building.
But tax levies are a tough sell to voters who see the dollars coming from their pocket more than they might see the impact of these dollars. Cincinnati Union Terminal has even tougher odds on their upcoming levy -- an economic recession.
Connecting Past Memories to Future Need
Myunionterminal.orgwas launched to educate taxpayers on the upcoming campaign, but its main feature is to “capture memories from the millions who have passed through Union Terminal's doors.”
“Myunionterminal.org encourages visitors to post personal stories and photos, view other visitors' memories and learn more about Union Terminal and Cincinnati Museum Center.”
Disclaimer: I’m not involved with the campaign site, but have provided input on other components of the campaign.
"Every day we hear about people's wonderful connections to Union Terminal and we're happy that many of these memories will now be located in one place," said Douglass W. McDonald, president and CEO of Museum Center.
But in reality, by giving visitors a place to tell their story and enabling sharing of these stories, the site is set up for story distribution as well, ensuring their campaign approach spreads. The site also has plenty of information how visitors can get involved by donating or volunteering their time.
While the site opened with stories in place, they continue to come in since the site launched in June. It's a smart approach. And it will be interesting to see its impact as the campaign unfolds.
As a member of the Museum Center, I'll be adding one of many stories the building has helped create for me and my family and I will be supporting the campaign as well.