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).
Listen to the song here:
Audio courtesy of WEBN-FM.
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 historic 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 late TV talk and reality show host, former Cincinnati Council Member and Mayor Jerry Springer, crediting him with saving Union Terminal, partly 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 get a copy. 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 show 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.
Whether you’re a Jerry Springer fan or not, it’s a hoot. If you remember that time in Cincinnati politics, I imagine it’s pretty special to hear it again. The song is a must-hear if you love Union Terminal and are of any age.