Last year, I did a freelance project about the origins and expression of the craving for authenticity in modern culture. It's a phenomena we've probably all observed and felt deeply without even thinking about it--a desire for practices, places and products that are real, meaningful, and time-tested. Many people think (and I agree with them) that this shift in tastes has much to do with our being over-saturated with online media pitches and marketing slogans, and perhaps a bit disillusioned from the recent economic catastrophe. Having experienced the downside of boundless commercialism, we seem to have developed an instinctive draw toward things that are lasting and slower, and that connect us to generations past. This beautiful old building and the vision that is taking it from eyesore to icon are a wonderful expression of that exact spirit.
Being there, you sense a oneness with generations of Atlantans who have walked the halls as workers, consumers, city employees... Jim's grandmother remembers stopping by as a child on her way to minor league baseball games! There are remnants of paint colors past, heavy mechanical systems used to power the building in its infancy, beautiful hardwoods that have been resurrected after generations of abuse--even a railroad trellis, now unearthed from its hiding place under a 1960s cafeteria! I was so inspired by how lovely this place will be again when it is used to bring people together.
Unlike so many quickly fabricated new buildings, Ponce City Market will deliver an experience of our city's history. I know I'm biased, but I'm really excited about it all. What do you think about saving old buildings and reusing them? Would you go so far as to participate in an awesome movement like heart bombing to save them? I think that if I were still a crazy college kid, I totally would.
Click here for more information about the project, and here for images of how it started!