Late last month a story I wrote ran in The Post that outlines serious plans – presented through the publication of a report that cost more than $800,000 to produce – to spend several million dollars both rehabilitating and preserving Cincinnati’s most recognizable landmark, Union Terminal.
On top of the important preservation work, part of the visioning and overall plan for the Union Terminal would be creating a district that would completely transform the area around the building into a hustling, bustling neighborhood of offices, apartments, condominiums and retail shops. Plus the plan calls for building two new parking garages on either side of the main terminal building, while two giant asphalt parking lots in front of the building – along the circular drive – would be returned to green space for a park (the area that was once a popular Cincinnati gathering place, Lincoln Park).
Most notable was the building that Cincinnati City Council nearly voted to tear down in the early part of the 1970s is in pretty bad shape overall and needs about $111 million worth of critical architectural and historical preservation.
In the article I retold a story that Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory shared during one of his weekly press briefings. In that meet-up Mallory mentioned he was about to sit down with Cincinnati Museum Center officials – the folks now operating Union Terminal under a lease from the city – about restoration and renovation issues. He also mentioned TV talk and reality show host, former Cincinnati Council Member and Mayor Jerry Springer, crediting him with saving Union Terminal, in part, through a song he had written, sung and recorded back when he was on Council.
Springer apparently called a press conference back then on a grassy knoll, dawned a dashiki, surrounded himself with young children, strummed a guitar and sang his song called “Save the Union Terminal.” Among those children sitting with Springer was a young Mark Mallory.
When I heard about the song I went on a mad hunt to see if I could actually get a copy of it. After several calls and conversations with some very helpful people, I tracked it down. Special thanks to Jay Gilbert at WEBN-FM for getting it to me.
The lyrics talk of the grand building losing out to the “Greyhound Bus, the airplane and the hungry automobile.” Springer encourages citizens to save the building from “the wrecking ball and chain” so children can not only ask their fathers about trains, they can actually be taken to see an old train station.
If you’re a Jerry Springer fan or not, it’s a hoot to listen to. If you remember that time in Cincinnati politics, I imagine it’s pretty special to hear it again. If you love Union Terminal and you are any age, the song is a must-hear.
Listen to the song here: Save Union Terminal
Audio courtesy of WEBN-FM.
As a side note, though the story was not followed by any other media outlets, it did become the highest vote-getter ever on Cinplify.com, which is very cool. Thanks again to everyone who voted for it.