The second installment of our Union Terminal behind-the-scenes series takes place inside the architecture of the rotunda: cavernous hallways, narrow catwalks, and the backside of the infamous giant clock face.

Externally, we could see that the rotunda has suffered some damage over the years, mainly from the elements and being almost 80 years old.

Cracks break away through the rotunda brick.

A closer look at the cracks.

As we descended the high steel, our group crossed over the glass catwalk and squeezed in the crawlspace behind the clock, located on Union Terminal's façade.

Cracks in the concrete from water damage.

Venturing along the glass catwalk.

This electric clock helps engineers set the façade clock to the correct time.

Light bulb that illuminates the minute hand.

Installed in 1933, weather and age have contributed to cracks in the clock face.

The original moving gears from 1933.

Clock repair wrenches.
♪♫"Oh, I wonder, wonder what's in a Wonderbox..."♪♫
So, here's an eerie story. I snapped a picture of these WonderBoxes in the hallway with the fine art. The plan was to slip in some hilarity about "wondering what's inside" or to hum the jingle to the Nestle's Wonderball advert (as seen above.) When I uploaded the photos to my computer, a closer inspection revealed that my name was stamped on the box! Coincidence? Or perhaps the historic artifacts are signaling me...

Our tour guide, Steve Terheiden, Senior Director of Operations at Cincinnati Museum Center.

"No Cowboys" (?)

Our group of mighty photographers continued through a series of tunnels along the northern wall of Union Terminal. We entered an area where the amount of natural decay left us all stunned silent. Cincinnati's iconic National Historic Landmark was withering away right before our very eyes.

That white spot is all that's left of this wall.

Rotting from water damage.
"That looks safe." - A giant gaping hole in the ceiling.
Restoring the interior structure, exterior brickwork, and replacing the glass in the clock face are all assets included in the $150 million Union Terminal repair estimate. Some of the sections are predicted to fully deteriorate within the next year. Unfortunately, Cincinnati Museum Center currently lacks the support for regular maintenance and is turning to the community for help.

Learn more about Funding to Restore Union Terminal.
Check out the Instagrams posted live from our tour.