Doug4Cincy

Cincinnati Museum Center and the World

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• “Why would anyone not want this building on the ballot?

• “We come here once a year to get together with our family. It is always a good time.

• “I’ve never seen a place with so many options in one place.”

• “I have been coming here for years. It is great to see security officers walking through here now.”

• “This is the best place to come to. The price is right.”

Carla Ott, one of the special Cincinnati Museum Center / Duke Children’s Museum staff members lets me know what visitors tell her. Here are this weeks comments.

Filed under @saveouricons @cincymuseum

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The REAL position of the Cincinnati Museum Center Board of Trustees regarding ICONTax. (Not the rumor)

The Cincinnati Museum Center Board of Trustees met the afternoon of August 13, 2014 and issued following statement:

“Cincinnati Museum Center Board of Trustees is abundantly grateful to the community for the continuous support for Cincinnati’s Union Terminal. We recognize the Cultural Facilities Task Force for their tremendous leadership in addressing the urgent needs of Union Terminal. We thank the Board of County Commissioners for placing a $170 million sales tax ballot issue before the public, which if approved, would advance the preservation of Union Terminal in an unprecedented manner.

The Board is actively considering the implications of the Commissioners Policy Resolution related to this upcoming sales tax ballot issue and have asked management to gather additional information before reaching a definitive position.

As we were in the beginning of this process, we remain committed to the full restoration of both of our community’s icons; Music Hall and Union Terminal and as such, we will work with the Music Hall Revitalization Corporation, the County, City and Cultural Facilities Task Force to achieve this outcome.” 

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Union Terminal’s history of reviews, evaluations and evaluations of evaluations.

  • 2007, a 900 page comprehensive Master Plan of Union Terminal was completed. The project was contracted by Hamilton County and managed jointly with Cincinnati Museum Center.
  • 2009, The Hamilton County Tax Levy Review Committee (TLRC) hired CR Architecture and Messer Construction to conduct an independent evaluation and pricing of the Master Plan. This was paid for by Hamilton County Taxpayers.
  • 2009, the Hamilton County and Cincinnati Museum Center executed an operating contract which called for the development of a Union Terminal Capital plan, to work with County staff in the development of a revenue and cost scenario in order to build a complete financing plan for the repair of Union Terminal and which would identify alternative revenue sources for the capital plan.
  • 2011, over $10 million dollars (Only 38% were County Levy Funds) were spent on repairing one section of Union Terminal. This project, managed by Hamilton County and bid exclusively by Hamilton County purchasing rules allowed for a comprehensive analysis of the extent of problems related to the Union Terminal building envelope and the extent of the damage to structural steel.
  • 2012, the 2009 pricing and scope by CR Architecture and Messer was updated and reported to the TLRC as part of the TLRC’s Mid-Term Review of Cincinnati Museum Center. This pricing and scope review used the finding of the competed $10 million repairs.

“The Cincinnati Union Terminal is at a critical juncture in its life-cycle. As illustrated in this report, the amount and severity of deterioration of the facility will continue to increase progressively. If these critical system deficiencies are not addressed, the facility will continue to deteriorate at a rapid rate until a catastrophic system failure occurs. The most effective and cost efficient expenditure of tax-payer money is to address these problems holistically and in the near short term.”

– CR Architecture, May 11, 2011

  • 2013, the UT building issues were addressed by the TLRC as part of the operating levy renewal. TLRC Chair Cooney wrote, “We believe that the Cincinnati Museum Center will continue to need funding from some source at the end of this levy tin order to continue property maintenance.”
  • 2013, from September thru November the TLRC’s independent, taxpayer funded consulting team of Benefactor Group (nonprofit consultants) and Rea and Associates (certified public accountants) conducted a thorough review of the operations of the Cincinnati Museum Center.
  • November of 2013, the TLRC mandated an independent community review of the entire Union Terminal project to be presented to the TLRC by July 18, 2014.
  • December of 2013 Bob McDonald agreed to chair the Cultural Facilities Task Force (CFTF) which exceeded John Silverman’s expectations (Chair of TLRC CMC committee.). This study included the museums leaving Union Terminal for a new building, relocating to the Masonic Center, and repairing Union Terminal.  
  • During this time Bob McDonald met with all three commissioners two times and John Silverman, the TLRC CMC Committee chair who drafted the TLRC document served as a member of the CFTF. County management also participated in the CFTF meetings. 5,000 professional hours were engaged in this process plus the committee member’s time.
  • June 23, 2014, almost a month before the report was due, the CFTF reported their findings to the Hamilton County Commissioners.
  • July 1, 2014, the Hines Corporation, an international development company with experience in building museums and concert halls was hired to conduct another independent evaluation and pricing paid for by the taxpayers.
  • July 8, 2014, ten days before the report was due, the CFTF reported their findings to the TLRC.
  • July 21, 2014, The Hines Corporation delivered their report to the TLRC.
  • July 23, 2014, A public hearing is conducted in Sharonville.
  • July 28, 2014, A public hearing is conducted at the County Administration Building.

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Douglass W. McDonald, July 23, 2014 (Statement to Hamilton County, Ohio Board of County Commissioners)

John Maynard Keynes said, “Ideas shape the course of history.”

The essential question to all of us as leaders is, “what difference will we make.” At the end of our era of leadership or at the end of our existence, did we create a variance in the natural trajectory of that for which we were responsible?

It is not just a great idea that shapes the course of history, it is the leaders who take hold of the great idea and when opportunity presents itself; great leaders step forward. That moment is here, it is now, and it is before you.

The Cultural Facilities Task Force led by Robert McDonald exemplified distinguished leadership. They stepped forward, created a great idea and made personal sacrifices bringing the idea to you.

Restoring Union Terminal is the foundation for Cincinnati Museum Center’s becoming one of America’s greatest museums. Union Terminal and Music Hall are treasured and share our community’s soul.

This plan will change the natural trajectory of our community and its citizens forever.

Today, we ask you to permit our citizens the right of self-determination, to decide their own course of history at the ballot box.

This is, as Keynes said, an idea which will shape the course of our history.

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John Maynard Keynes said, “Ideas shape the course of history.”

The essential question to all of us as leaders is, “what difference will we make.” At the end of our era of leadership or at the end of our existence, did we create a variance in the natural trajectory of that for which we were responsible?

It is not just a great idea that shapes the course of history, it is the leaders who take hold of the great idea and when opportunity presents itself; great leaders step forward. That moment is here, it is now, and it is before you.

The Cultural Facilities Task Force led by Robert McDonald exemplified distinguished leadership. They stepped forward, created a great idea and made personal sacrifices bringing the idea to you.

Restoring Union Terminal is the foundation for Cincinnati Museum Center’s becoming one of America’s greatest museums. Union Terminal and Music Hall are treasured and share our community’s soul.

This plan will change the natural trajectory of our community and its citizens forever.

Today, we ask you to permit our citizens the right of self-determination, to decide their own course of history at the ballot box.

This is, as Keynes said, an idea which will shape the course of our history.

Douglass W. McDonald, July 23, 2014 (Statement to Hamilton County, Ohio Board of County Commissioners) Commissioners)

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HEY YO! - Have we got what it takes to respect the jewells of a cityscape? Cincinnati, Save Our Icons!

Monday the Hamilton County Commissioners will be asked to allow the citizens of our county to vote on saving Cincinnati’s Union Terminal and Music Hall. Two great buildings which define our community.

(Source: vimeo.com)

Filed under Vimeo heyyo! landor museumcenter cincinnatisymphonyorchestra cso opera ballet mayfestival musichall cincinnati historic nationaltrust preservation commissioners hartmann portune monzel mayor cranley

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4 White Faces

Somedays I feel we have come far towards a diverse and inclusive society and other days I am troubled. Today was a troubling day for me. Today I celebrated the life and legacy of Juanita M. Adams with over 400 others at the Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. I was one of 4 white faces in attendance.

In many such funerals this may not be surprising because churches and schools remain the most segregated institutions in the US. Yet Juanita Adams lived her life broadly, she touched the lives of all of us. As a city staffer for 40 years, a leader in many organizations and as a co-chair of more galas than many people will ever attend benefiting a wide range of community organizations including Cincinnati Museum Center and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. She lived her life among and for the benefit of all of us whether our complexion is light or dark.

Juanita was willing to engage in any endeavor for good regardless of the race of those who benefitted. I would have thought this celebration would have been much more inclusive.

Perhaps this is a reflection that while many of us are committed to inclusiveness we remain uncomfortable with the culture of the African American community and in particular the Black Church experience. Minorities have no option but to participate in the majority population’s culture. If we aspire to reach the full potential of our society, the majority must be purposeful in experiencing and valuing the culture of all those in our community. It would be a wonderful way to honor the life of Juanita M. Adams.

Filed under race

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Union Terminal opened 81 years ago today. Imagine how people in 1933 must have been astonished when then entered the doors and saw the magnificent rotunda. Well, come to think of it, it is the same reaction they have today!

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Today at 7:30 AM the moon was still over Union Terminal. (at Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal)

Today at 7:30 AM the moon was still over Union Terminal. (at Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal)