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Ponce City Market: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of Atlanta's Largest Building

History by Jerry Hancock

Foreword By Robert M. Craig

Schiffer Publishing (anticipated June 2018)

187 pages, 9" x 12"

 

For almost a century, one of the largest buildings in the Southeastern United States has maintained a dominating street presence in Atlanta, Georgia. Ponce City Market was originally built in 1926 as a Sears, Roebuck & Co. distribution and retail center which operated until 1989. The City of Atlanta purchased the building in 1991 to house several public works departments and store countless items amongst its 2.1 million square feet of space. As the city’s utilization of the building dwindled, Jamestown LP stepped in and acquired the building in 2010. After six years of work, Ponce City Market has become one of the greatest adaptive reuse projects in the country.

In 2009, during the economic recession in America, Blake Burton was fresh out of architecture school and unable to land a job in that field. He was fortunate enough to be hired by the City of Atlanta’s asset management office, where his task was to help supervise the cleanup of the building that would become Ponce City Market. Immediately awed by the immense scale and detail of this largely empty edifice, Burton began taking photographs in an effort to preserve what he could, convinced that the building would be demolished. Upon learning that it would be completely renovated, Burton was granted permission to continue photographing the building. Each visit presented new perspectives and challenges in the midst of an active construction site. With unlimited access over the course of six years, Burton produced stunning behind the scenes photographs, resulting in a comprehensive record of the evolution of an architectural landmark.

Ponce City Market: The Rise, Fall and Rise of Atlanta’s Largest Building includes an illustrated essay by historian Jerry Hancock, who has extensively studied Sears, Roebuck & Co. and their impact on the South. Noted architectural historian Robert M. Craig (The Architecture of Francis Palmer Smith: Atlanta’s Scholar Architect, John Portman Art & Architecture) provides a Foreword.