Neither of us had visited the museum before, and when we rounded the corner from Western Drive to the museum entrance, Jerry and I turned to each other and simultaneously said:
"Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice..."
In fact, the Cincinnati Museum Center was once Union Terminal Train Station, built in 1931 in the Queensgate neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. In July 1958, Union Terminal chartered its last mainline stream train from the station and over the next 30 years the building was used for a variety venues, including a shopping mall in the late 1970s. However, in 1986, Hamilton county voters elected to save the terminal from the wrecking ball and approved a levy to transform it into a museum. After several years of renovation, the Cincinnati Museum Center opened in 1990.
But, did you know that this stunning art deco motif building has slipped its way into American Pop Culture? Mainly recognized as the Super Friends' Hall of Justice in Metropolis, Hanna-Barbera's art director, Al Gmuer, modeled the hall on Union Terminal after his visit to Cincinnati in the late 1960s. The terminal - rather the Hall of Justice - made it's first appearance in the Justice League cartoon series on September 8, 1973.
Also, Union Terminal inspired the look of Gotham City's Hippodrome in Batman Forever (1995), where Robin Grayson's family is killed:
We had no idea that the Cincinnati Museum Center was all that - an architectural icon and an inspiration to comic book artists, movie makers, cartoon series, etc. Indeed, after our visit, Jerry and I immediately looked up the history of the building ("Wonder Twin powers, activate!") - we were delighted to discover that the similarity between it and our beloved childhood Super Friends' Hall of Justice was not a coincidence!
While we spent several hours meandering our way through the many wonderful (and extensive!) exhibits, the real jewel of the museum is what's remaining of the original Union Terminal facade and interior - it's breathtaking!
If ever you are in the Cincinnati-Dayton area, pay the museum a visit - it's quite a magnificent affair! Blessings and happy sewing!