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Things to do in Covington

    Behringer-Crawford Museum Behringer-Crawford Museum Covington, Kentucky
    The William Behringer Memorial museum opened in 1950, to showcase the collections of a late world traveler, with displays like a mounted stuffed life sized black bear, American Indian relics, the two headed calf, small game, birds and many other unusual curiosities. The elaborate streetcar "Kentucky" that was constructed in 1892 and then retired just before the museum opened was another outstanding addition to the marvelous collection, and has been completely restored. The museum's first curator, Ellis Crawford would encourage the museum to co-sponsor many excavations around the region and these would uncover many relics like the big "paleo" bones that were dug at the Big Bone Springs. During 1979 and 1980, the museum added fire safety and restorative components, and then reopened as the Behringer-Crawford Museum. The staff and volunteers began increasing the community programming, initiating the junior curator archaeology, performing arts, arts, crafts and visual arts. Their excellent permanent exhibits would show paleontology, natural history, folk art, frontier home life, rivers and steamboats, mineralogy, archeology, politics, slavery and the Civil War. The special temporary displays would augment and complement their permanent exhibits and enhance their visitors experience. This regional museum, located in Covington, Kentucky, has documented historic Civil War battery sites in three counties that include the ones located at Devou Park. During the 1990s, they would construct an outdoor amphitheater that offered the community a yearly Fresh Art auction, as well as a two-month weekly musical concert program. Since the area has always been a center for transportation, with the rails, rivers, roads and runways, they decided to added another 15,000 square feet of exhibit space and created one on the theme of transportation. Some of the other themes incorporated into their galleries are tourism, regional planning, immigration, municipal planning, entertainment and local arts history. Using outstanding text panels, their audio visual stations offer a geological deeptime look at northern Kentucky, with the new Children's Garden just opened to facilitate the archeology programs and their study of prehistoric and native flora and fauna, and Ordovician. The museum is also home to the Lane library and museums archives, Devou Park history and so many other interesting displays. Their marvelous gift shop has many regional artists' works and authors' works for sale as well as educational toys and other specials.

    Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption
    Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption Covington, KentuckyThe Roman Catholic Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption is sitting majestically in Covington, Kentucky, named as one of the minor basilicas in the nation, began by the Diocese of Covington's third bishop, Camillus Paul Maes in 1894. The construction was stopped in 1915, even though the church isn't finished, still to this day. The magnificent exterior was inspired by the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and the interior, equally beautiful, was modeled after the St. Denis in France. The church is home to the first and third biggest rose windows in the world, and the recent renovation of the church would earn it a 2002 Preservation Award from the city's preservation association. The interior rejuvenation would commission the Conrad Schmitt Studios to clean the gorgeous stone ribs, walls and tracery, with studio artists completing the plaster restoration and certain of the faux stone paintings. In December, 1953, the cathedral was raised to the rank of minor basilica by Pope Pius XII. The inside of the cathedral has numerous murals that were created by local resident, Frank Duveneck. The cathedral's north transept window is the world's biggest stained glass window, measuring 67 feet by 24 feet, representing the fifth century Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in which, Mary was declared to be the mother of God. At the architectural center point, the high altar is located, with Verde marble surfaces that may contain ancient sacrificial stones. Usually, churches that attain the title of basilica are done so because of their dignity, antiquity and historical significance as centers of worship; while the distinction of being minor or major is dependent upon the pope. There are four major basilicas in the world today, and they are all in Rome, while this minor basilica is only one of 35 in this country. It was elevated during a Solemn Pontifical high mass celebrated by the most reverend William T. Mulloy, D.D. in 1953. The Gothic architecture is relevant to the economic and cultural views held by the world during the Middle Ages, constructed with the contributions of pious and self-conscious merchants, the cathedrals would become the physical centers of the growing commercial cities, and the church was the focal point of a religious life for the communities. The most unusual and bizarre elements of a cathedral are the strange gargoyles that are used to divert water away from the roofs, as well as becoming personified human qualities that are antithetical to the behavior of virtuous Christians; and the Covington cathedral has 26 of these gargoyles watching over them that were carved in Italy.

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 3256 Loomis Rd.
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    Railway Museum of Greater CincinnatiRailway Museum of Greater Cincinnati Covinton, Kentucky
    The Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati is located in Covington, Kentucky and owns a fantastic collection of 80 historical railroad pieces of equipment that sit on a four acre site. It was started in 1975, by a club of local railroad enthusiasts that wanted to run passenger cars on the Amtrak trains, with a number of members buying cars for that very purpose; but in the late 1980s, Amtrak made the restrictions on passenger cars harder, so that it soon became too expensive for private people to keep them going. Once the Amtrak excursion ended, the cars would become the core of the current collection, and the mission of the museum changed from running passenger cars to one of preserving them for posterity. Tom Holley, the former Chairman of the board, said, that the main purpose of the museum would become the collection of the equipment that was used by the seven railroads that came into the city. Pennsylvania Railroad E-8 engine #5888 has been enjoying some outstanding refurbishment for a number of years, and a theatrical baggage car, called Juliet and one of the 47 created by the Pennsy between 1917 and 1922, is located on the track next to the locomotive and will become a mobile staging area for all restorations. There are many Pullman-Standard cars, including the Metropolitan View that was constructed in 1938 for the PRR's Broadway Limited and a BM70nb railway post office car modernized for the train. Other marvelous pieces include; a preserved troop sleeper, former RI #428 El Comedor dining car, former PRR #9048, an EMD SW1 switcher, an early Southern Railway business car, a former B & O RR modern lightweight coach called the La Paz and a preserved Dinky, Brookville BMD 15-ton switcher.  Their historical pieces of rolling stock are marvelous, while some are in desperate need of rejuvenation, and others are being sold for one reason or another. But the museum pieces are in great shape and so many that it would take days to visit each one and look over the outstanding quality of work. It is a great museum with much railroading history and should be visited if you really love railroading.

     Newport Aquarium
    Newport Aquarium Shark Ray Newport, Kentucky
    The Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky has 70 outstanding exhibits and 14 galleries that include five seamless acrylic tunnels that total more than 200 feet long. This aquarium houses thousands of animals from across the globe that live in a million gallons of water, and contain the very popular Sweet Pea and Scooter, two shark rays that live in captivity and the only breeding pair in the world. The aquarium received a baby shark ray from Taiwan in 2009 and named it Sunshine. The aquarium is open every day of the year, and is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, belonging to the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation. It encourages visitors to really have a good time with their interactive activities like touching sharks or greeting penguins. The outstanding exhibits include; Surrounded by Sharks, theater, Amazon Flooded forest, Ohio riverbank, rainforest, Pepsi world rivers, behind the scenes tours, bizarre and beautiful, gator bayou, jellyfish gallery, Kroger kingdom of penguins, coral reef, shore gallery, dangerous and deadly, frog bog and many more exciting places to visit and view the beautiful creatures from under the seas and around them.

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Local Restaurants in Covington

    Chez Nora
    Appetizers; chevre is marinara & goat cheese with pita points; crab cake is jumbo lump & claw crab meat with house remoulade sauce; smoked goetta & chicken egg rolls is goetta, fajita chicken, caramelized onions & cheese, with Dijon curry & balsamic reduction; pesto ciabatta is tomatoes, roasted red peppers, onions & mushrooms, broiled mozzarella & provolone cheeses.
    Entrees; include choice of 2 sides & dinner bread except where noted; crab cake dinner is jumbo lump & claw crab with house remoulade sauce; baby back pork ribs smothered with mesquite BBQ sauce; chicken & sausage jambalaya is andouille sausage, onions, celery, green bell peppers, tomatoes, chicken & house blend Cajun spices over rice; veggie pesto pasta is sautéed veggies, tossed in signature basil pesto, topped with parmesan cheese; basil mozzarella chicken pasta is pan seared chicken breast atop pasta tossed with marinara & finished with fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded basil leaves & balsamic reduction; Italian chicken breast is pan seared chicken breast topped with signature basil pesto, sliced salami & cappicola & melted mozzarella cheese; BBQ beef brisket dinner is slowly roasted in house BBQ sauce; steak Nora is filet mignon, grilled your way, topped with crab claw, asparagus & béarnaise sauce; Creole sea trout is South American sea trout filet, seared with house blend Creole spices & topped with Creole crawfish tails & tomatoes; ahi tuna seared your way, drizzled with Thai sweet chili sauce & balsamic reduction.

    South Beach Grill at the Waterfront
    Entrees; steaks hand picked, served with choice of Freddie or Greek salad & baked or mashed potatoes; served on the bone; bone-in filet mignon 18oz., Jeff Ruby's jewel is chili rubbed dry aged bone-in rib 24oz. with cipollini onions & shiso peppers, cowboy steak is dry aged bone-in ribeye 24oz.; served off the bone; prime NY strip 14oz., Queen filet mignon 9oz., Collinsworth, prime NY king strip is well aged 20oz., barrel-cut filet mignon 12oz.; seabass forte is king crab, asparagus & exotic mushrooms; grilled sesame tuna is wok braised spicy green beans, warm pineapple chutney; cider-brined pork chop with Granny Smith apple compote; pulp fiction steak burger with bacon, smoked cheddar, boardwalk fries, chocolate shake; char-grilled lamb chops with almond brown butter sauce; pecan encrusted salmon with king crab, heirloom tomatoes, lemon-champagne vinaigrette; imported Dover sole with tempura asparagus, light lemon caper sauce; Gerber Farms chicken breast with asparagus & corn succotash, applewood smoked bacon, pan gravy; herb roasted lobster tail 11 or 16oz.; steak & lobster is 11oz. cold water lobster tail & 9oz. filet mignon.


Baby Back Pork Ribs Chez Nora Covington, Kentucky


BBQ Beef Brisket Chez Nora Covington, Kentucky



 Grilled Sesame Tuna South Beach Grill Covington, Kentucky


Steak & Lobster South Beach Grill Covington, Kentucky



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    Cincinnati Art Museum Cincinnati Art Museum Cincinnati, Ohio
    The Cincinnati Art Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio is one of the oldest art museums in the nation, started in 1881, becoming the first purpose-built art museum west of the Alleghenies, and houses more than 60,000 works of art that make it one of the most expansive collections in the Midwest. The museum sits in Eden Park in Cincinnati, in a Romanesque revival structure that was designed by local architect, James W. McLaughlin, and opened in 1886. Over its 120 year history, there have been additional add-ons and remodeling, with a major addition in 2003, called the Cincinnati Wing. It was added to contain a permanent display of art created for the city or by city artists since 1788, with 15 new galleries that span 18,000 square feet; and another 400 pieces. Two of the biggest pieces in the collections are the Odoardo Fantacchiotti angels, that were made to be part of the main altar of St. Peter in Chains Cathedral during the late 1840s. These would be the first European sculptures to come to the museum, along with works by Frank Duveneck, a tall case clock by Luman Watson, Rookwood pottery, Robert Scott Duncanson Mitchell and Rammelsberg, the city's finest 19th century furniture makers.  In 2006, the museum celebrated its 125th anniversary with a special 125 days of events and programs, and in 2009, it made all the special exhibitions free, but with a $4 parking fee. The museum has many outstanding paintings by the masters, like Corot, Claude Monet, Picasso, Frank Duveneck, Master of San Baudello, Frans Hal, Jorge Ingles, Aert Vander Neer, Sandro Botticelli, Renoir, Strozzi, Matteo di Giovanni and Mattia Preti. The general admission is free every day, but there could be special exhibition fees added for certain shows.  Current exhibitions include; Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman, Heavy Metal: Arms and Armor, Force of Nature and Wedded Perfection: Two centuries of Wedding Gowns.

    Carnegie Visual & Performing Arts Center
    Carnegie Visual & Performing Arts Center Covington, KentuckyThe Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington, Kentucky is a multidisciplinary arts venue for all people that offers educational programs, art exhibitions and theater events to the northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati region in their state-of-the-art facility. It reflects a threefold scope, with the Carnegie Galleries, beneath a beautiful Beaux arts dome, the Eva G. Farris Education center and the recently rejuvenated Otto M. Budig theater; thus making the center the biggest arts venue in northern Kentucky. The center began in 1972, in a former Carnegie library that had been built in 1904, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The old library is an outstanding example of French renaissance or Beaux arts style, with a turn-of-the-century translation of the classical style that was seen in ancient Roman and Greek structures. The impediment sculptures that were created by Covington artist J. C. Meyerburg highlights Minerva, the goddess of invention and wisdom; and accompanied by two young people, one that represents the useful arts while the other represents the fine arts. The magnificent interior contains two floors, connected by an exquisitely carved dual winding staircases, with circular balcony and open rotunda that looks out over the main floor below a beautiful amber glass dome. There is a wonderful theater adjacent to the museum that was modeled after a 19th century French opera house. The magnificent ceilings are very extravagant, especially for a library, but now it is perfectly matched for the museum. The last time the building was used as a library, was December 31, 1973, and like all other historical sites in the area, it was supposed to be razed to make room for modern parking areas or sterile office buildings. The Northern Kentucky Arts Council was able to save it, and in 1971, the Carnegie structures were added to the register, so the council moved into it and converted it into a nonprofit community arts center. The building is truly a spectacular artistic structure and how anyone could have even imagined tearing it down for any purpose is unimaginable, and the fact that there were many more, makes you wonder what is going on in the minds of people today, when they could be saving so many buildings and houses for further use, regardless of what that might be.

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    Taft Museum of ArtTaft Museum of Art Cincinnati, Ohio
    The Taft Museum of Art in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio is located in a former mansion that was constructed in 1820 for Martin Baum as a villa, and then later would become the residence of Nicholas Longworth. Then David Sinton would move in with his daughter, Anna, who would marry Charles Phelps Taft, the half-brother to President William Howard Taft, and they would live here from 1873 until 1929. William Taft accepted his party's presidential nomination here in 1908, where the Taft family continued their love for the arts by constantly collecting. They would soon turn the house into a museum, and then, in 1927, they donated the Greek revival mansion and the impressive collection of artworks inside to the city and people of Cincinnati. The Tafts stipulated that, "We desire to devote our collection of pictures, porcelains and other works of art to the people of Cincinnati in such a manner that they may be readily available for all." Their collection includes many European old masters that were created by; Frans Hals, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Thomas Gainsborough and Adriaen van Ostade, as well as others, and many beautiful 19th century paintings, including famous murals by Robert Duncanson. Inside the many galleries of the mansion, you will find such excellent works like European decorative arts, Chinese porcelain, Limoges enamels, sculptures, furniture and watches. Some of the most significant works are; Frank Duveneck's The Cobbler's Apprentice from 1877; Virgin and Child by the Abbey of Saint-Denis from 1260 to 1280, Henry Famy's Song of the Talking Wire from 1904, James Abbott McNeill Whistler's At the Piano from 1858 to 1859, J. M. W. Turner's Europa and the Bull from about 1840 to 1850 and Rembrandt van Rijin's Portrait of a Man Rising from his Chair from 1633.

    Ft. Wright Civil War Museum
    Ft. Wright Civil War Museum Ft. Wright, KentuckyThe James A. Ramage Civil War Museum in Ft. Wright, Kentucky was created to describe the untold story of Cincinnati and northern Kentucky's involvement in the Civil War, even though there were never any major battles fought here. The folks of the region did band together to resist a very strong push by the Confederate Army in 1862, hoping to forge farther into Northern territory. The museum has been located on one of the key locations of that resistance, Battery Hooper, sitting on 17 acres of historically memorable lands, with stories, memorabilia and passages. The museum doesn't just concentrate on the Civil War, but it gives honor to the Black Brigade, the history of the town and Fern Storer's kitchen. It wasn't too long ago that the city of Ft. Wright, Kentucky was contacted about a recent piece of land that had just been put on the market. That piece of land had been the home of Fern and Sheldon Storer and sat atop a hill that had been involved in that historical resistance. It was one of the 31 battery locations that assisted in the defense of the city by General Henry Heth and 6000 Confederate soldiers in September, 1862. Without hesitation, the local men and soldiers began working together to build an eight mile defensive line that went from Ludlow to Fort Thomas, to stop the invasion of the state. These men would dig rifle pits, cut trees to create a clear line of fire and use the limbs for barriers against the invading infantry and erected forts. The Confederate soldiers marched within a couple of miles of Fort Mitchel, that is called Fort Mitchell today, and watched for two days, until they realized that the defenses were much more than they could fight against, especially since the Union had mustered 22,000 troops and 50,000 militia. The southern boys left during the night and sure made the right decision. That property, and the house that sat upon it was an important historical place, since Fern Storer was a well known food editor for the now closed Cincinnati Post from 1951 until 1976. Fern had been known to test recipes, meticulously; according to her former home/food editor, Joyce Rosencrans. Fern took great pride in the accuracy of her food sections and passed her principles down to Joyce.  Fern  passed on in 2002 and left her house and 14.5 acres to the Northern Kentucky University foundation, which in turn sold it to the city of Fort Wright. The city announced plans to develop the historic site into a passive park that concentrates on the Civil War's history and the Hooper Batter is only one of six left in the region out of the original 31.

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    Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & MuseumCincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum Cincinnati, Ohio
    The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum was started by the Reds franchise to pay homage to the team's past history using multimedia, displays and photographs, with the hall containing 75 inductees, that include players, announcers, managers, executives and other contributors to the Reds history. The team dates back to 1869, when the Cincinnati Reds were formed, and are now the oldest baseball team in the major leagues. In 2006, the new inductees included Tom Seaver, Tom Browning and first baseman, Lee May. The hall had been just a dream from 1958 to 2002, although there had been many attempts to start it, but when the Great American Ball Park opened, there was a facility that became available. It sits on the west side of the park on Main Street and on two floors, with part of it on the Reds former home in Riverfront Stadium. It just opened a Peter Rose exhibit, concentrating on the playing career of baseball's all time hits leader, who is still under a lifetime ban from baseball. Some of the relics housed here include the bat and ball from hit 4192, balls from hits that led up to the famous number, along with artifacts from the Crosley and Riverfront/Cinergy years, a uniform shirt from Pete's high school, Western Hills, baseball cards from his career, gloves that Pete wore playing outfield, 2nd base, 3rd base, and 1st base, Sports Illustrated covers of Pete, the wall of balls that represent his 4256 hits and other significant items. Some of the famous Reds that have been inducted include; Ernie Lombardi, Bucky Walters, Ewell Blackwell, Billy Werber, Ted Kluszewski, Noodles Hahn, Pete Donahue, Wally Post, Mike McCormick, Joe Nuxhall, Jim O'Toole, Jim Maloney, Smoky Burgess, Frank Robinson, Leo Cardenas, Gary Nolan, Tony Perez, Sparky Anderson, Dave Concepcion, Bob Ewing, Bid McPhee, Ken Griffey Sr., Lee May, Tom Seaver, and many more.

    Vent Haven Museum
    Vent Haven Museum Fort Mitchell, KentuckyThe Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky is the only museum of ventriloquial figures and memorabilia in the world, started by William Shakespeare Berger, a Cincinnati businessman and amateur ventriloquist. Vent Haven, with vent being short for ventriloquist, is located in a private house and numerous outbuildings in a southern suburb of Cincinnati, with Lisa Sweasy, the curator, being a walking encyclopedia of ventriloquism facts and history. She knows about dummy-phobia and tries to put visitors at ease, somewhat difficult with hundreds of dummies staring wide eyed at you, always smiling and sitting. She has had her share of frightened people that exclaim the dummies are staring at them, causing Lisa to wonder why these folks would even bother to come here. She explains that ventriloquism is 90% uplifting, cute and funny, stating that clowns are much more scary. Except for the few dummies that have pointy teeth and no eyelids, but they are everywhere, staring out into space with the same look day after day. You can walk through room after room filled with the dummies just sitting in their chairs, with the occasional dummy heads sitting along a shelf, waiting for some dummy to lose his head. Some of them wear top hats, some are radical stereotypes, with the black dummies taking some of the attention away from bad ventriloquists, others have soldier's hats, or graduation cap and gown, some famous replicas like Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. There are more boy dummies than girls, showing the visitors of today just how biased the whole business was in the early days, with some having exaggerated Adam's apples and almost all of them wearing that harsh glaring make-up, with eyes more often than not, popping almost out of their heads. The mechanical jaws are perhaps the scariest parts of them, while Lisa explains that the dummies had to have exaggerated faces so that the people in the back of the theater could see their faces better. That is why the dummies look different when pictured up close or not too far away. Lisa isn't happy with the way Hollywood has depicted the dummies, saying that Magic with Anthony Hopkins was a bad movie, while Dummy with Adrian Brody was a good one, and the Chucky films have made a mess of the whole art, poisoning the minds of an entire generation that could have been potential ventriloquist fans. If you ever want to see just how many dummies and variations there are, then you will certainly find them here. There is one grinning red monkey dummy that has been valued at $30,000, and another that resembles Hitler that is never put out for display.

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    Cincinnati Museum Center at Union TerminalCincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal Cincinnati, Ohio
    The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal in Cincinnati, Ohio was originally called the Cincinnati Union Terminal and had been a passenger railroad station in the Queensgate neighborhood of Cincinnati. When the decline in railroad travel began, the building would eventually be transformed into other businesses, like museums, a library and theaters, making this one center a vast network of artistic and interesting venues. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the city had become a major center for railroad traffic, but especially as an interchanging point for the railroads that served the Northeastern and Midwestern states, who had railroads that went to the south. Amazingly, the intercity passenger traffic was divided amongst five stations in downtown Cincinnati, forcing many of the travelers to change between the railroads to get home locally. One of them, the Nashville and Louisville Railroad, that operated sleepers with other trains had to split themselves between two stations, so in the 1890s, a proposal to construct a union station started. In 1912, a committee of railroad executives was formed to start studies on the proposal, although it would take another 16 years before all seven railroads that served the city to come together after much debate and negotiations. In 1928, all seven that included; the Pennsylvania RR, the B & O RR, the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis RR, the Louisville and Nashville RR, the Norfolk and Western RR, the Chesapeake and Ohio RR and the Southern RR would pick the site of their new station in the west end of the city, close to Mill Creek. The rotunda in the new station has the biggest semi-dome in the western hemisphere, at 180 feet wide and 106 feet high. The German artist, Winold Reiss had been chosen to design and make two 22 foot high by 110 feet long color mosaic murals that showed the history of the city for the rotunda, two more murals for the baggage lobby, two murals for the departing and arriving trains and 14 smaller ones for the train concourse. These would represent the local industries and a big world map mural located at the back of concourse. Quite a few of these murals would be removed during the renovations and put on display at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.  In its heyday, the terminal would have 216 trains coming and going out of it, with three lanes of traffic included in its design that would handle the taxis, streetcars and buses. By 1939, newspapers had been calling the terminal a white elephant and travel continued to decline. During the 1940s, the trains would once more be running full tilt, but that was due to WWII, and afterwards, it would face another decline, especially as the 1950s and 1960s arrived and went. Then, in July, 1958, the terminal became terminally ill, as the last mainline passenger steam train in the nation, the Norfolk and Western #603 originated in the city, and left. By 1971, after Amtrak had been created, the train service at the terminal had just two trains a day, the George Washington and the James Whitcomb Riley, and the next year, they abandoned the terminal altogether, opening a much smaller station in the city in 1972.  Currently there are six major organizations listed in the terminal; the Cincinnati Railroad Club, the Cincinnati History Museum, the Duke Energy Children's Museum, the Museum of Natural History and Science, the Cincinnati Historical Society Library and the Robert D. Lindner Family Omnimax Theater. 

    National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
    National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Cincinnati, OhioThe National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio is a museum based on the history of the underground railroad, and pay homage to all the efforts to abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for everyone on this earth. It has been billed as a new type of museums of conscience, along with the Museum of Tolerance, the National Civil Rights Museum and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. It offers lessons about the struggles for freedoms in the past, present and future as it challenges visitors the meaning of freedom in their own personal lives. The location is significant since the city had been where thousands of slaves escaped their slavery by crossing the Ohio River, during the tumultuous period and history of the Underground Railroad. With ten years of planning and fundraising, the $110 million freedom center opened in 2004, with the 158,000 square foot structure being designed by Boora Architects of Portland, Oregon with Blackburn Architects of Indianapolis creating the three pavilions that represent perseverance, courage and cooperation. The outside is faced with rough travertine stone from Travoli, Italy on the east and west facades, and copper panels on the north and south. One of the main architects, Walter Blackburn said that the building's undulating qualities represents the fields and river that the slaves had to cross to get to freedom. Muhammad Ali, Oprah Winfrey and First Lady Laura Bush would come to the groundbreaking ceremonies in 2002. The center's most significant artifact is a 21 by 30 foot two story log slave pen that was constructed in 1830 and used to keep the slaves while they waited to be shipped to auction. It was moved here from a farm in Mason County, Kentucky and now sits in the second floor atrium, where visitors can see it every time they come there here while they visit other exhibits. The pen had been the property of Captain John Anderson, a Revolutionary War soldier; and had been used to hold slaves waiting to be moved from Dover, Kentucky to the slave markets in Natchez, Mississippi and New Orleans. The slaves would be held here anywhere from a few days to a few months, waiting for the "right" market conditions when they would fetch the most money. It has eight small windows, stone floor, with large fireplace and chimney, as well as a row of wrought iron rings that a central chain would be run through to tether men on both sides of the cabin. Males were on the second floor and females on the first, with the fireplace used for cooking. That pen has become a powerful place, with many getting the feeling of walking on hallowed ground, and when folks are on the inside, their voices drop to whispers. The curator at the time, Carl B. Westmoreland spent some three and a half years trying to discover the history of the slave jail, which, although just a pile of logs, there is something else about it, almost sacred.

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