When a local TV station in San Antonio, Texas, asked if I could interview Bernabeus, he had already been doing renovations on the city’s old train station.
“They wanted me to be a part of it,” he said.
And then, he said, they asked if we could make a documentary about his renovation.
I was thrilled, I said.
What a story!
The renovation project was ambitious: a massive renovation of the San Antonio-San Antonio International Airport, including an entirely new train station, an entirely revamped subway station, a brand-new hotel, and new amenities, like a new restaurant and movie theater.
(Bernabeus and I worked together on the project.)
I was also thrilled that the renovation would involve renovating the city itself.
As the San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2013, Bernabeuses renovation of San Francisco’s Ferry Building, which houses the city government, was the most expensive project in the citys history.
The new Ferry Building is a massive, modernist, three-story structure, with a roof made from reclaimed shipping containers and a massive glass canopy, complete with two high-ceilinged windows.
The building itself was constructed of recycled steel and steel panels.
It has been renovated into the city headquarters of the city of San Antonio and the city department of public works, as well as into a museum.
I am a big fan of this project.
I’ve been involved with other projects in the past, and I’m very proud of it.
But Bernabees renovation is not just about the building itself.
It is about the city, about the culture, about San Antonio.
As Bernabei explained to me, his goal is to create a place that is truly San Antonio—a place that feels like it’s the city.
“I wanted the building to feel like San Antonio,” he told me.
“That is the beauty of my project.
You don’t just want to make the building look like it has a new roof and new glass, you want to have that same feel that we have had since the beginning of time.”
As I was interviewing Bernabeis renovation project, I heard a familiar voice from the back of the room.
“You know what?
You’re right,” he joked, and we both laughed.
He had just finished saying this.
And he was right: The city of Chicago’s new new Art Museum is going to be like Bernabeas renovation project.
“When you go inside, it feels like a completely different place,” he added.
But that’s not all.
The renovation will also have an impact on the culture of San Antonias culture, and the people who live and work there.
As my team members explained to Bernabe and I, it will bring together people who don’t typically interact with each other, like Bernabes employees and volunteers.
“People from the city are coming to visit us in the Art Museum, and people from San Antonio are coming,” Bernabe said.
I asked him about this, and he responded: “People coming from San Marcos are coming too, because they’re not sure how to live in Chicago anymore.
It’s very, very different.
It feels like you’ve come from the moon.
And you can actually be in Chicago, you can walk to the airport, and all you have to do is walk back to the museum and go back to your hometown.”
Bernabe told me he hoped to bring these people back to San Antonio to visit his renovation project with their families.
I said, “I think that’s great.”
“Thank you for your comments,” he replied.
I thanked him, and walked away.
We walked around the building, admiring the beautiful glass.
The entire building is designed with a sense of community and tradition.
Bernabe was so excited to see his project through.
“My goal is that it becomes the center of everything,” he explained.
“Because I want it to feel as if it’s a place for people to come together and make new connections.”
As Bernabis project unfolds, Bernabies work will be accompanied by a museum tour.
The project is not a mere museum piece, but a living history and a cultural center, the museum will host programs and a large exhibition.
In addition to the public, Bernabbes project will be a cultural hub.
As we talked, he showed me a video of a group of young people who have been on the streets of Chicago, walking through the Art Institute of Chicago with a group called The New Generation, as they look at Bernabe’s project.
As I watched, I felt a sense that this was the new Bernabe, a young man in his mid-thirties who had made the city his home, who was not afraid to change things up and embrace the new.
But I also felt a bittersweet