PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston January February 2022

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Page 49 of 83

THE TRANSFORMER O n a buoyant late- f a l l m o r n i n g , several hundred people assembled on the rooftop of Post Houston for its grand unveiling. Who would have thought the second act of a former federal building from 1962 — albeit by the firm that erected the Astrodome, Wilson, Morris, Crain & Anderson — would be such a big deal. In its heyday, the Barbara Jordan post office downtown was one of the flagships of the U.S. Post Service, employing 10,000 workers, across three shifts that went 24/7, a model of efficiency that rarely missed next-day delivery for letters and packages mailed from its 16-acre, 550,000-square-foot campus. For this auspicious occasion, nine people took to the podium, including city and state elected officials, as well as the architects of the New York office of the global firm founded by architect/thinker Rem Koolhaas' Office for Metropolitan Architecture, succinctly known as OMA. The most closely listened-to speeches came from the developer who made it all happen and his 30-something son, Frank Liu and Kirby Liu, respectively. Frank is a Taiwan-born, Vietnamese immigrant who lived through the Tet offensive before leaving South Vietnam for Houston, where he graduated from Rice University and went on to name his residential and commercial real estate firm Lovett after his college dorm. Son Kirby Liu, a Fulbright scholar with a Dartmouth degree and fluency in Russian, worked in global finance in Asia before being accepted into the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He landed as an intern at Rex, an offshoot of OMA, for about a year before being called back to Houston FRANK AND KIRBY LIU AND ARCHITECT REM KOOLHAAS' OMA REFORMULATE THE CITYSCAPE WITH POST HOUSTON. BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON LEONID FURMANSKY (Continued) A Vladimir Tatlin-inspired staircase at Post Market 48

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