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Cincinnati Museum Center To Close Briefly Ahead Of Grand Reopening

Tana Weingartner
Crews work on replacing Union Terminal's exterior pavilion and fountain in June 2018.

As the Union Terminal restoration nears completion, the Cincinnati Museum Center will close for a week to allow work crews to finish some big projects.The museum will be closed Oct. 22 - Nov. 1, with portions reopening Nov. 2.

The closure will "allow us to do full systems tests, alarm testing, and allow the building inspectors to do a full walk-through of the building to make sure that we are ready welcome to staff and guests back," says Spokesman Cody Hefner.

"They'll be checking egress patterns; checking all of the fire and smoke suppression systems and alarms to make sure those are all fully operational; to get into spaces that have not been publicly occupied over this restoration; and just to make they're fine-tuning all those things and (making sure) there are no issues."

A reopening gala is scheduled for Nov. 10, and a public opening of the rotunda and some of the museum spaces is scheduled for Nov. 17.

The historic Verdin clock on the building's facade is set to make its return Aug. 27.

When the building reopens, visitors shouldn't expect the museum to be fully online.

"November is the completion date of the construction," Museum CEO Elizabeth Pierce told WVXU in June. "It begins the time in which we are able to rebuild exhibits in the spaces in the museum."

As WVXU reported:

The permanent exhibits will come online during the next several years. Pierce says private fundraising is underway to pay for new and different exhibits like an outer space lab using NASA technology.
This isn't a change, but it may be a perception issue for those who've watched the construction from afar or visited the Children's Museum during the work.

Work began in July 2016 on the $228 million effort to repair the 85-year-old building's exterior and aging interiors and utilities.

Voters approved a five-year, quarter-cent sales tax in 2014 to restore the Art Deco building, but none of those dollars will be used to update exhibits.