Those who joined American Field in Atlanta experienced something remarkable. Yes, there were dozens of the best American-made brands and products. Yes, there were thousands of loyal fans. But best of all, our first event down south brought people to one of the most historic venues in the city—Ponce City Market.
Ponce City Market occupies the former Sears, Roebuck & Co distribution center for the Southeast. To this day, it is the largest brick building in the region, with over 2 million square feet of space. Thanks to our sponsor, Jamestown L.P., the building is the area’s largest adaptive reuse project.
Many Atlantaens remember visiting the building, parts of which date to 1926, to go holiday shopping with the parents. Others may recall working in the massive space alongside giant packing machines. In 1860, long before Sears even arrived, the natural springs named in honor of Juan Ponce de Leon, the Spanish explorer, drew in tourists and residents of the area. Eventually, Ponce de Leon Park was constructed around the springs, inspiring the name of well-traveled Ponce de Leon Ave in Atlanta.
Now, with the revitalization of the surrounding Old Fourth Ward, new life has returned to the building. Market-goers can explore a new courtyard and gaze down onto the original train trestle that once led freight trains through the building. Office tenants like athenahealth and MailChimp can work alongside their Atlantaen neighbors. A connection to the Atlanta BeltLine provides residents, tenants, and visitors with access to green commuting and a growing park. And—with seven James Beard recognized chefs—Ponce City Market is quickly becoming one of Atlanta’s most vibrant culinary centers.
Perhaps most exciting to American Field, Ponce City Market is soon to open Citizen Supply—a platform for makers and artisans to bring their products to market and interact with the people who buy them. This permanent marketplace will create a direct connection from the source to the end user and serve to reinforce the local entrepreneurial economy.
We are honored to have used a portion of the historic space within Ponce City Market and look forward to future collaborations with our sponsor Jamestown L.P.