Michelle Johnson

Publisher, Editor-In-Chief

Architects and designers play a role in our buildings, parks and landscapes, especially when it comes to our city’s future.

In December of last year, I received an email from local architect Kristin Rose of RBDR Architects inviting me to the American Institute of Architects Waco Design Awards ceremony at Art Center of Waco. At the reception, four designs were chosen from the 15 submissions by three members of the Texas Society of Architects, including the new Dental Gallery that Kristin designed. Our writer Susan Bean Aycock talked with Kristin about her love for her job at and the impact she is making as a woman in the field on page 61.

It was an honor to be there and meet the architects, designers and artists behind many of the projects that we have written about this past year at the magazine, including Bridge Street Plaza which won for its creative design of a public space. It truly is thoughtfully designed as it allows Wacoans and visitors to move freely through the area during events or to just to sit for a moment — all while still maintaining its cultural relevance. When I take my kids there, we park, browse the farmers market (we can’t wait for it to open again this spring!) and a lot of times, we sit in the intentionally designed sitting areas between our city’s new loft and hotel.

Now, a part of our weekend routine is to park downtown and walk along University Parks Drive to the new Foster Pavilion to see the Baylor Bears play. I just love how walkable our city has become and if you haven’t been downtown lately, you need to make a point to go and see what all of the good news is about!

I also had the chance to introduce myself to Cade Kegerreis at the event. Cade has been making Waco look cool and modern for many years now. I am sure you have seen his designs all over town, you just might not have not known the man behind them. Read about him on page 73. He is currently completing two commissioned pieces — a ceiling mural for the already acclaimed Hotel Herringbone and a seven wall mural along the side of Texas Sports Hall of Fame with some very familiar and famous faces. I have always known this young man was going to do big things. I am glad we as Wacoans get the reward of Cade staying in Waco.

Mayor Dillon Meek has chatted with us several times during his tenure and we are thrilled to have him talk to us once again to sum up his time as Waco’s mayor on page 138.

Where will you be on April 8?

We have the guide to help you start planning for the event that is out of this world on page 34. Waco, get ready because we have the best seat in the galaxy for the total solar eclipse that’s a once-in-a-lifetime event! I am so excited and looking forward to welcoming over 100,000 visitors to Waco!

My ask is for you, reader, to step out of your comfort zone and see the awe that we live in every day. Enjoy it with the people you love. Ask people to go walk downtown or go to one of our many parks or go enjoy live music. Our Love Waco section on page 123 is your guide to finding a new boutique or restaurant, and support Waco.

And be sure to look at the design all around you.