Cincinnati Union Terminal

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Cincinnati Union Terminal
Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 10:11 PM

Quite a beautiful piece of engineering and a reminder of how powerful and important Railroads were.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Cincinnati_Union_Terminal

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 11:54 PM

Miningman
Quite a beautiful piece of engineering and a reminder of how powerful and important Railroads were.

A fitting dream destination for so many supertrains of the late Forties, including the Chessie with streamlined Hudsons and 6000hp turbines, the B&O with the best of its streamlined Pacifics, the N&W with roller-bearing rods on articulated twelve-coupled locomotives.  What a pity there turned out to be not enough demand for even one supertrain to be profitable...

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 1:03 AM

When the last of the trains left it became a discount mall for a while. Good grief! 

One day there in 1947-49 just one day anytime then, that's what I wish, wouldn't that be something. 

 

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Posted by NKP guy on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 8:51 AM

   CUT to me means Cleveland Union Terminal (1930); it's still a stretch to think of Cincinnati's (1933) by those letters.

   My first out-of-town overnight trip was with my family to Cincinnati in 1954.  My dad's aunt showed us around town, including the zoo, but she was proudest of the CUT.  No wonder!  Even as a kid the place struck me as rather fantastical.  It had curves and swirls of concrete and stone, as well as bold dashes of color.  In 1954 it still kind of looked like "the future" as a kid might imagine it.  That's Art Deco for you.  By contrast, Cleveland's Union Terminal was anything but Art Deco; lots of classical columns, no curves, no swirls, and except for a large mural on one wall, no color.  Art Deco vs. Classic Revival, you might say.

   I enjoyed learning that Cincinnati's UT was designed by the same firm that designed Buffalo's UT.  You can see the similarity easily.  Cleveland's UT was designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, a Chicago architectural firm that designed CUS in that city.  Talk about similarities!  To this day CUS and CUT still use the exact same bronze and glass doors (at least in some places), and the floors have the same type of marble, etc.  Likewise the Classical motif, pilasters and columns.  For those of us who miss CUT, a visit to CUS helps.  

   Herbert Harwood Jr.'s book on the Van Sweringens makes the observation that the NYC probably regretted its huge investment in the CUT project even before it opened on June 28, 1930.  Things were already going south in terms of passenger traffic.  No doubt the NYC Board of Directors regretted their large investment in Cincinnati's terminal for the same reason.  And Buffalo's.  Certainly the NYC's budget during the Depression was strained even more by paying for all of these projects.  But at least in the cases of Cleveland and Cincinnati these buildings continue to function, albeit in a new iteration, and for ninety years or so have been instantly recognizable the world over as symbols for those cities.

   When railfans as well as others (of a certain age) think of Cleveland, they visualize the Terminal Tower; when they think of Cincinnati, they right away imagine that glamorous Union Terminal, looking something of a cross between a toaster and a radio, and beautiful.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 9:58 AM

In case you missed it, 3D artist David Lombardi built a 3D model of the Cincinnati Union Terminal's Concourse, here are some pics and the link of his works:

More: https://www.facebook.com/cincymuseum/photos/as-we-celebrate-the-conclusion-of-our-historic-restoration-project-and-the-reope/10156804849524287

https://kinetic-vision.com/saving-historic-structures-with-advanced-virtual-reality/

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 10:16 AM

The Cincinnati Chapter of the American Guild of Organists raised the money to relocate an Ernest M. Skinner organ in the half-dome space, and I understand the results are just great.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 11:09 AM

Great to hear from you again Mr. Jones!  Hope all's well with you!

And thanks for those breathtaking interior shots of CUT!  I can't describe them any other way than breathtaking!

My God, the things we used to build in this country!  What happened?  What the hell happened?  There's nothing built today that looks that good!  Nothing!  Just cheap artsy trash with "expiration dates" on them.  

It's like building for the ages is a mortal sin in this day and age. 

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 2:56 PM

Good to see you back Jonsey! 

Now if we could just get a check in from Johnny ( Deggesty), Bruce ( AgentKid) and NDG.  Miss them all. 

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Posted by pennytrains on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 6:29 PM

Probably having the same problem I've been having.  I had to "recreate myself" with a slightly different spelling and get moderated as we all did when we were new to the forum.  Frustrating, but solvable.

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 7:25 PM

Good to have you back Penny. Let's hope everyone shows up! 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 7:50 PM

I messaged Bruce a little while ago, but never heard back.  Hope he's doing ok.  I'll have to keep a closer watch on the Calgary obituaries.

I can confirm that NDG is still with us, even if he isn't posting.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, July 23, 2020 6:43 AM

Flintlock76

Great to hear from you again Mr. Jones!  Hope all's well with you!

And thanks for those breathtaking interior shots of CUT!  I can't describe them any other way than breathtaking!

My God, the things we used to build in this country!  What happened?  What the hell happened?  There's nothing built today that looks that good!  Nothing!  Just cheap artsy trash with "expiration dates" on them.  

It's like building for the ages is a mortal sin in this day and age.  

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome back! I got "forced logged out" from the forum, but thank God, I still remember my password.

The CUT is one of the most stunning train terminals in the world, too bad that part of the building was callously demolished and replaced by a plain wall! I strongly believe that some folks tried to save the structure but failed for obvious reasons. The terminal itself, together with the LD train services of North America, were abandoned by the people. Fortunately, the blueprint of the building is still there. 

I want to take a closer look at those Art Deco murals in the concourse and study the stories behind them, but I can't find all of them on the internet. It is hard to believe that those murals were torn down intentionally like useless trash! 

 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, July 23, 2020 9:25 PM

What I learned from history a long time ago I keep learning, this time from "Magic Mike."  Thumbs Up

Never, ever, underestimate the sophistication and ingenuity of the old-timers, they'll surprise you every time!  

And a lot of people nowadays think their forebears were stupid and backward.   What conceit! 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, July 24, 2020 6:03 AM

Miningman

Southern Railway Royal Palm:

Source: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1843577

PRR Cincinnati Limited (1951, folks aboard are lucky):

B&O National Limited and Cincinnatian:

  

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, July 24, 2020 8:41 AM

Thanks Mr. Jones!  CUT must have been a railfan's dream come true in its heyday!

Here's an interesting bit of trivia concerning the Gilbert Stuart portrait of General Washington the C&O used for their name train "The George Washington."

The General didn't care for the portrait himself, and his wife Martha flat-out hated it, which is why it's in an unfinished state.  However, the artist Stuart made quite a bit of money licensing the portrait for publication, and by 1850 it had become the  iconic portrait of George Washington.

Washington's step-grandson George Custis, who lived until 1857, was asked frequently "Is the portrait correct?  Did General Washington really look like that?"  Custis always replied "Well yes, he did look like that at the time, but the artist still missed something, it really doesn't quite do him justice."  

Another bit of trivia, George Custis was Robert E. Lee's father-in-law!

By the way, this is my favorite portrait of General Washington.

http://www.pafa.org/museum/collection/item/george-washington-3  

 

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Posted by NKP guy on Friday, July 24, 2020 10:58 AM

   A number of people think the most accurate representation of George Washington's face and features is the statue of him made by Jean-Antoine Houdon and placed in the Virginia capitol in 1796.  I regret my inability to add a photo of it here.  Would someone else please post it?

   Of that statue, Ron Chernow has written:

   "In the final version, Houdon played on the Cincinnatus theme of Washington returning to Mount Vernon and divesting himself of the instruments of war.  Still dressed in uniform, his outer coat unbuttoned, Washington seems quietly self-possessed, his great labor finished.  He has exchanged his sword for a walking stick in his right hand while his left arm rests on a column topped by his riding cape.  He is tall and proud, erect and graceful, as he gazes into the bountiful future of his country.  With true humility, Washington had asked to have the sculpture life-size instead of larger than life, and Houdon had heeded this noble request."

 

   Of the same Houdon statue, art historian Kenneth Clark wrote:

      "Houdon saw his subject as that favourite Roman republican hero, the decent country gentleman, called away from his farm to defend his neighbors' liberties; and, in moments of optimism, one may feel that, through all the vulgarity and corruption of American politics, some vestige of this first ideal has survived."

  

   Let's hope so.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, July 24, 2020 11:54 AM

Here's the story of the Houdon statue, with some shots from several angles.

http://www.smarthistory.org/houdon-george-washington/  

I've seen the statue, and it is magnificent!  When the Marquis de Lafayette visited the United States in 1824-1825 the Virginia State Capitol was part of his grand tour.  When he saw the statue Lafayette burst into tears.  "That is the man himself!" he said.

One thing the article doesn't mention.  There's a slight chip on Washington's walking stick, but it doesn't date from when the statue was made, it dates from around 1850 or so.  Seems there were two Virginia state assemblymen who hated each other's guts, and when one saw the other across the Capitol's gallery he pulled a pistol and took a shot at him!  The bullet hit the walking stick and was deflected away from the intended target!  

The other assemblymen broke up the resulting fistfight between the two!

 

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, July 24, 2020 12:13 PM

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Posted by NKP guy on Friday, July 24, 2020 12:36 PM

   My thanks to Flintlock & Miningman for those impressive photos of Houdon's Washington.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, July 25, 2020 1:59 AM

Test Test 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, July 25, 2020 2:06 AM

More named trains and steam engines that used to be the stars of CUT:

C&O George Washington 

 

N&W Powhatan Arrow

 C&O old J3 

Streamlined Hudson

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, July 25, 2020 5:57 PM

pennytrains
Probably having the same problem I've been having.  I had to "recreate myself" with a slightly different spelling and get moderated as we all did when we were new to the forum.  Frustrating, but solvable.

Maybe Kalmbach IT should be put in charge of tha pandemic - and thereby lock out all the virus.

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Posted by M636C on Saturday, July 25, 2020 6:30 PM

BaltACD

 

 
pennytrains
Probably having the same problem I've been having.  I had to "recreate myself" with a slightly different spelling and get moderated as we all did when we were new to the forum.  Frustrating, but solvable.

 

Maybe Kalmbach IT should be put in charge of tha pandemic - and thereby lock out all the virus.

 

I've just logged on on startup for the first time in some weeks. I've had to use a different program (Explorer) or try to log on multiple times...

We have enough problems with the virus without a further degree of unpredictability.

Peter

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, July 25, 2020 7:04 PM


Cincy Today ( pics 2016) 

 
 
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Posted by pennytrains on Saturday, July 25, 2020 7:57 PM

It will always be their home to me  Wink...

 

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, July 26, 2020 6:05 AM

Like this any better than the original as posted?

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