In a city where so many buildings are removed and rebuilt before they have a chance to stand the test of time, it’s great to see one has overlooked Ponce de Leon Avenue for nearly 100 years.
Pictured above is the Sears Building, which was built in the 1920s. This undated postcard was likely released not long after the building first opened in 1926, the Atlanta Time Machine wrote. In the foreground, you can see old automobiles (slowly) traveling down Ponce de Leon.
Back in the day, the structure was home to a warehouse and retail stores. In 1989, the Sears store closed, and in 1991, the building was purchased by the city and turned into City Hall East, according to Ponce City Market’s website. The city sold the mostly vacant building in 2010, and last year, Ponce City Market opened, while several floors were revamped and sold as flats for residency.
(More #TBT: World War II begins, 1941)
If you haven’t been to the new Ponce City Market, you should make plans to visit. It’s a sight to behold, and it’s a perfect place to grab a bite for lunch on a weekend while doing a little shopping or walking along the Beltline.
Across the street, where a shopping center now stands, was the site of the old Ponce de Leon Stadium, which hosted the Atlanta Black Crackers of the Negro League. The park once hosted baseball greats Babe Ruth and Eddie Mathews for exhibition games, and both hit home runs into a giant magnolia tree that still stands today, according to Georgia Encyclopedia. They were the only two baseball players to ever achieve that feat.
Google Maps captured nearly the same view of the building as the postcard; here’s what it looks like today:
Photo via Atlanta Time MachineFollow @Sean_Breslin