Ponce City Market breathes new life into an Atlanta landmark

Ponce City Market hard hatIf you’ve ever driven down Ponce de Leon Avenue or North Avenue in midtown, you have no doubt passed the behemoth building complex that sits between the two streets at Glen Iris Dr.   The huge structure, which was first constructed by Sears, Roebuck & Company in 1925 as a retail store and distribution center, and later housed City of Atlanta offices as City Hall East, will soon become a bustling retail, business, entertainment and residential complex known as Ponce City Market!

Last week I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek at the future Ponce City Market when I participated in a hard hat tour of the property.  I left the tour brimming with excitement about what is sure to be a fantastic addition to intown Atlanta. Continue reading

My visit to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market – and why you need to plan yours!

While scheduling a lunch date with a friend last week, I suggested we try the Sweet Auburn Curb Market.  Neither of us had been before and it was right around the corner from my friend’s office.  Additionally, after seeing the recent news coverage about the Sweet Auburn Historic District being named as an “endangered historic place” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, I was curious to see at least one part of the area, the Market, for myself. Continue reading

Learn about Atlanta’s history by visiting landmarks for free!

Phoenix FliesI am an Atlanta native.  So are my parents who were born and raised in the Virginia-Highland/Morningside area and my grandpa who was born in Inman Park in 1920.  But despite my background, there is so much about Atlanta history I still need to learn.  And now I have no excuse as the Atlanta Preservation Center is again hosting “The Phoenix Flies:  A City-Wide Celebration of Living Landmarks.”   The event, which began in 2003 as a way to increase our understanding of Atlanta’s heritage, provides FREE tours of Atlanta’s landmarks over a two-week period. Continue reading

One Last Look at City Hall East

Did you miss Party at Ponce this past weekend? After ages of being one of Atlanta’s most significant unused spaces, City Hall East is officially beginning its three-year transition into becoming Ponce City Market. The building offers over 2 million square feet of space that will become offices, retail, a few apartments, plus a farmer’s market and a possible urban garden. Ponce City Market will be a beacon for the rest of intown Atlanta residents, a symbol of how far the city has come.

But we mustn’t forget that this building in the heart of the Old Fourth Ward is an important part of Atlanta history. In the 1920s, Sears, Roebuck & Company built the structure to house its Southern Regional Catalog Distribution Center. Almost a century later, the mail and catalog sorting rooms remain untouched, filled with old shipping labels, timecards, and Rolodexes. Even when the building was used by the City of Atlanta, two-thirds of the space was never used.

Take a trip into Atlanta history with the following video from 11 Alive, offering a last-chance tour of this historic building before the overhaul begins. Then, check out some of our fantastic, luxurious intown Atlanta apartments, so that you can be where the action is.

Cyclorama to Leave Grant Park?

It’s an Atlanta landmark. Since 1922, Grant Park has housed the Atlanta Cyclorama, a panoramic painting depicting the Battle of Atlanta of the American Civil War, as well as an accompanying diorama installed in 1936. The work was at one time the world’s largest oil painting, and measures 42 feet high by 358 feet long. To view it, the audience is seated in the middle of the 360-degree viewing area, then rotated slowly to see the whole painting. the building also houses a number of Civil War artifacts.

This September, Mayor Kasim Reed and others are meeting to discuss the future of the Cyclorama, which has not drawn many tourists in recent years. It may move to Buckhead, the Atlanta History Center, or to the burgeoning downtown Atlanta tourist district near Centennial Park.

What do you think? Is the Cyclorama old news, or should we keep it in the neighborhood?