The Cincinnati Enquirer, June 6, 2013 – Cliff Radel
Let the donations begin.
Cincinnati Preservation Association officially started accepting funds Wednesday to save the nine, endangered, industrial mosaic murals that once hung in Union Terminal’s now-demolished concourse.
“We were involved in the original effort to save these murals,” said Paul Muller, the association’s executive director. “We are lucky they were created, saved and now available for return to Cincinnati.”
The nine murals stand in two shuttered terminals slated for demolition at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Plans call for the terminals to be wrecked by 2015. The city of Cincinnati has first right of refusal to find the murals a new home. Mayor Mark Mallory wants to bring the works of nickel-sized pieces of colored glass and tinted mortar back to Ohio and inside the Duke Energy Convention Center.
The estimated cost to pack, remove, transport and install the nine, 20-feet by 20-feet, 8-ton panels is $5 million to $7 million. Governmental funds are not available to foot the entire bill.
Public money was also in short supply when the murals were moved to the airport in 1973. That’s when Cincinnati Preservation Association’s initial incarnation, the Miami Purchase Association for Historic Preservation, stepped in. Association officials also made sure, Muller noted, that the murals’ deed “specified that the city had first choice if the murals were ever to be moved again.”
Muller said reserving them once more “will add to the rich heritage of Cincinnati.”
Since an Enquirer story broke the news of the murals’ plight and the association’s involvement in raising funds to save the works of art, Muller said he has “been contacted by several individuals and an investment banker. They wanted to know when Cincinnati Preservation Association will be accepting donations.”
The answer is now.
If you prefer to donate by check, please make checks payable to: Save the Murals Fund and mail to 342 West Fourth Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.