The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is raising money to preserve the old art deco train station where it is quartered. “Why should I care?” you ask. Because the building was the model for the Hall of Justice from the 1970s television series Super Friends! And why should I care, you ask again.
Super Friends, first aired in 1973, teamed up DC Comics’ most powerful heroes: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and more.
Who should get credit for making the Hall of Justice a twin of the Cincinnati train station is not certain, however, the first draft was done by Al Gmuer, a background supervisor for Hanna-Barbera.
Using his knowledge of architecture, he sketched out a building that almost resembled the finished product.
“Mine had more windows,” Gmuer said.
The drawing was then given to the network, including Joe Barbera, where it was turned into the Union Terminal look-a-like that’s known today, he said.
Gmuer isn’t sure why they redesigned his building to look like Union Terminal. He doesn’t give the Hall of Justice much thought today.
“In the long run, I hated that building,” he said. “The way it’s designed, it was not easy to draw. I had nightmares about that damn building.”
Located in Metropolis, the Hall served as the Friends’ central meeting point. It contained the Trouble Alert, that warned them about new threats, and also housed a giant clue-analyzing computer.
The bad guys had a similar-looking “Hall of Evil,” distinguished by the addition of a gargoyle-style head over the front entrance.
Kenner sold a toy version of the Friends’ headquarters in the 1980s that was less grandiose but copied its iconic lines.
Click here to donate and help preserve the Hall’s original inspiration, Cincinnati Union Terminal.
[Thanks to Steven H Silver for the link.]