Ponce City Market Built Environment Description (Interior)

I arrived at Ponce City Market, which used to be the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building, around 6:36 pm. I walk into the main food court and I see various restaurants and shops and groups of people walking around and eating. I walk up the stairs towards the back and arrive on the second floor. I sit on at a round wooden table with metallic accents and chairs. I observe the environment below. The design seems industrial with high ceilings and hard wood floors and open railings for bystanders to lounge on. I see groups of people from various areas and they all appear to belong to the upper and middle class based on the business-like attire (suits, luxury brands, etc.) The male-to-female gender ratio seems to be equal, however they tend to only engage within their own gender.  Gigantic black light fixtures hang from white concrete. The building appears to be inspired by urban design. In the distance I hear the chatter of people, salsa music, and the hum of human activity. I can smell food cooking The lighting is dim and low with no windows or natural light which creates a dungeon like ambiance. On the second floor there are a few shops and a gallery area for artist exhibitions as well as a sign pointing to the Beltline. The materials throughout the market appear to be industrial such as steel, wood, and brightly colored paint. These features give the market an urban vibe but also clean sophistication that attracts both young and older people. On the first floor there is an display case which shows a 3-D model of Ponce City Market. The display sits on a platform in front of the elevators. The display appears to be about a foot long but looks to be rendered to actual scale. The model shows how the market is structured on the outside with large warehouse like buildings and minimal green space on the outside. On the opposite wall to the 3-D model there is a sign that says “Welcome to Ponce City Market” and it features a list of rules and regulations such as, appropriate clothing required, no weapons, no fighting or causing a disturbance, no BYOB, no illegal drugs or illegal activity, public intoxication not allowed, no smoking, no loitering, etc. These guidelines suggest that the market is cautious about activities that would cause lawsuits or arrests or anything that would give them bad publicity. They want to establish themselves as a place for everyone in a community not just a club scene.

The second floor of Ponce Market

The second floor of Ponce Market

3-D Model of Ponce City Market

3-D Model of Ponce City Market

Rules/Regulations at Ponce City Market

Rules/Regulations at Ponce City Market



The Atlanta Beltline’s Potential to Increase Racial Inequality

Jacob, Brown. “Respatializing Race: The Open Case of the Atlanta Beltline.” Emory University, 2013. Web.

In his thesis “Respatializing Race: The Open Case of the Atlanta Beltline”,  Jacob Brown a student of the London School of Economics at Emory University, discusses the ” spatial dimensions of racial inequality” (3) that exist in Atlanta. In particular he examines the Beltline and “interrogates its broader potential to act as an agent of racial equity” (4). Brown notes that while the Beltline contributes green and art spaces and “connect Atlanta’s neighborhoods through multi-use trails and rail transit” (4) it can also have a “potential effect on Atlanta’s racial inequality” (4). Other projects such as the Olympic Park, Turner Field, Underground Atlanta and Omni International (5) claimed to solve issues similar to those addressed with the Beltline. However, these projects have all led to displaced impoverished black communities. Brown suggests because the Beltline shares characterisitcs of these projects and “how race affected these developments, and vice versa, indicates the Beltline’s potential relationship with racial equity” (7). 

Northeast Beltline (Author’s Own)

This source is useful for researchers because it shows how Atlanta’s environment is built to enhance disparities between  its “wealthy White north side”and “poor Black south side” and how this impact weakens social connections between neighborhoods. In the case of the Beltline the development appears to be beneficial providing “small businesses along the pedestrian trails, residential developments, art installations and parks” (10). However, this small improvement is overshadowed by inequalities. The Beltline rail is designed in a way that “divide neighborhoods and constrain intra-neighborhood connections” (16) leading to social exclusion due to lack of transportation. The purpose of this source is to address how the construction of the Beltline will impact racial equality in Atlanta. Brown believes racial inequality is “not just caused by urban planning decisions” (27) it is a  “much deeper problem that permeates political, economic and social spheres” (27). However, it is important to understand the relationship between urban infrastructure and racial problems. “Design is largely reliant on how each of these spheres reacts to it” (27), infrastructure serves as a tool that can either mend or intensify conflicts. 

Robert Woodruff’s Impact on the Future of Atlanta

Andrew, Land. “The Social and Civic Impacts of Robert Winship Woodruff in the City of Atlanta During the 1960s.” Thesis, Clemson, 2007.http://tigerprints.clemson.edu/all_theses/103/.

Robert Woodruff Source: Woodruff.org

Andrew Land, who received an MFA in History at Clemson University, discusses in his article, “The Social and Civic Impacts of Robert Winship Woodruff in the City of Atlanta During the 1960s”, Robert Woodruff’s efforts “to combat poverty, make slum areas more livable, and provide cultural and art venues for Atlanta’s citizens.” He notes Woodruff’s extensive wealth and addresses how “Woodruff’s power, such as it was, was not wasted.  Rather, it was expended on issues close to his ideals and close to him personally” (49).  In particular, Woodruff sympathized with black residents in Atlanta communities and “Woodruff’s sense of civic obligation was tremendous; he had equally grand plans for the future of Atlanta” (56). Land’s purpose is to raise awareness about the contributions Woodruff made to Atlanta by building infrastructure, making it  one of the greatest cities in the South. This article provides the reader with an overview of the history of Atlanta’s conception and the actions leaders like Robert Woodruff and Ivan Allen took to build our future.

The Woodruff Arts Center: A Juxtaposition of Architecture and Community

Woodruff Arts Center, Midtown, Atlanta

The Woodruff Arts Center is located in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia. The center was built in 1968 by award winning architect Richard Meier. Robert Woodruff, who was a main benefactor for the site, intended to pay homage to the art and civic leaders of Atlanta and provide programs for youth and their families. Although the center was built with the intention of building community it does appear to exclude the lower class and homeless.

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