From a distance, a non-descript office tower lines the corner of Fourth and Walnut Streets among the many skyrises in the Financial District. Currently the home of Great American Insurance, this building was once epicenter of transit in Cincinnati.

Erected in 1921, Dixie Terminal was used for streetcar service until the 1950s. Streetcars arriving from Northern Kentucky crossed the Roebling Bridge and took elevated ramps over Third Street into the southern terminal. Passengers would arrive and depart through the grandiose north building. Over 100,000 passengers on Northern Kentucky’s Green Line streetcar were transported daily. A $3.5 million project, the facility was hailed as the "Gateway to the South." After the City of Cincinnati stopped streetcar service, Dixie Terminal was used as a bus terminal through 1998.

Dixie Terminal in the 1940s via CincinnatiViews.net
Streetcar entrance ramps into the southern terminal via CincinnatiViews.net

Streetcar ramps over Third Street in the 1920s via CincinnatiViews.net

Ten stories housed railroad ticket agencies, administrative offices of the Cincinnati Street Railway Company, Cincinnati Stock Exchange, and retail shops. Marble floors and wainscotting accent the interior, while the vibrant vaulted ceiling depicts children riding on the backs of animals. The entryway catches the eye from the street, with gold framing and Rookwood Tile archway.

Free and accessible to the public, the next time you're downtown, take a peek inside Dixie Terminal. Pause for a moment to remember the hustle and bustle that once passed through the halls during a time when rail was a key component to transportation in the Queen City.