At Long Last, It’s Time to Travel Again

In this business, I’ve been fortunate to travel quite extensively. I’ve gratefully journeyed to trade shows in warm, sunny locations when the Midwest’s winter has become too much to bear. I’ve spoken at industry events in sports stadiums across the U.S., including TD Garden; the United Center; even Paul Brown Stadium, home of the SuperBowl Contender Cincinnati Bengals. I’ve met with advertising customers to explain the magazine’s editorial focus in boardrooms and at dinner tables across the U.S. I’ve traveled all over the world to witness proprietary manufacturing technologies for materials covering the inside and outside of all types of buildings. I’ve socialized with readers at trade shows and toured their building projects in small communities and major cities.

Getting out and learning what’s happening in this industry from the folks who are doing the great work has been one of the major joys of my career. Not to mention, traveling helps me stay informed about what I should be covering in retrofit. Needless to say, the past two years have been extremely difficult. I can enthusiastically say I’m ready to travel again! Who wouldn’t take one look at the stunning new Moynihan Train Hall on our cover and want to board a train this very moment? Brian Libby, one of retrofits regular contributors, was thrilled to write about how a Beaux Arts post-office building was converted into the modern Moynihan Train Hall for Amtrak passengers at Penn Station in New York City. “I come to this as an ex-New Yorker who used to take trains to and from Penn Station frequently,” he says. “I was practically praying for an intervention like this, so I was keen to get an understanding of what Moynihan does and doesn’t do in terms of addressing the totality of the passenger experience.” Libby’s affinity for our “Cover Story” shines through in his interview with Jon Cicconi, AIA, a senior associate principal at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the firm that designed Moynihan Train Hall.

Since moving away from Chicago in 2014, the city has been calling me back to explore several of its amazing retrofit projects. The Old Main Post Office Building at 433 W. Van Buren Street, which is our “Transformation” feature, is one such building. The former post office, which encompasses two city blocks, holds a unique place in history as the center of the American mail-order industry for many decades. The abandoned building recently was redesigned as office space by Gensler Chicago, which took great care to restore the post office’s Art Deco details and use its artifacts as art and sculpture throughout the space. “Our goal was to celebrate the building and its role in Chicago’s history. We wanted to continue the building’s legacy in every way possible,” explains Ashley Rogow, technical designer in Gensler’s Chicago office. Read about this magnificent—and immense—adaptive reuse project.

Despite not traveling again for work in the near future, I am happy to report that as this issue goes to the printer I am embarking on my first family trip since the pandemic began. My husband, four-year-old daughter and I will be boarding a flight to Maui. (We also are taking my mother-in-law as a thank you for being our in-home childcare provider since our daughter was born.) I plan to spend a lot of time on the beach forgetting about winter and COVID.

Cheers to spring and traveling again!

About the Author

Christina A. Koch
Christina A. Koch is editorial director and associate publisher of retrofit.

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