These fine art photographs of industrial architecture were taken in 2006 of the Sears Roebuck & Company building, at 675 Ponce de Leon Avenue, in midtown, Atlanta, Georgia, in the Old Fourth Ward. The Sears building is the largest brick structure in the southeastern U.S. It was originally constructed in 1926 by Richard Warren Sears, Alvah Curtis Roebuck & Company as a retail store, regional warehouse and catalog distribution center. Sears closed the retail store in 1979 and ended warehouse operations in the mid 1980s. Freight lines and trolley lines came right up to the building loading decks. The Atlanta Crackers stadium, the amusement park and other cultural venues were on site. The City of Atlanta purchased the property in 1991 where they set up administrative offices, including the Bureau of Cultural Affairs and the Atlanta Fire Department, in a portion of the building until 2010. The building is in a prime Atlanta location, adjacent to Belt Line network which is already underway. The Belt Line is a 22-mile rail and walking corridor that will connect more than 45 historic neighborhoods of Atlanta. It will be a mixed-use facility and the hub of the Atlanta work, live, retail, commercial area. It is my goal to provide images for public viewing, and in so doing, preserve the historic architecture of this Atlanta iconic landmark building while enriching and rooting the new architecture with art representing sweet memories of the past. The fine art photographs within this gallery offer elements of collectible and conversational interior design. I focused on light, and the absence of light. Light and darkness will play a game of cat and mouse with your eyes and your imagination will take control as mechanical devices become vibrant and alive. Engage in a visual journey of time-travel via vast space and depth, patterns, lines, and repetition. Participate, just as vigorously in the unseen as the seen. My focus was in concert with what I received permission to photograph - uninhabited spaces… most of which were untouched, barely-lit places, where dust from years gone by sat heavy on surfaces while light came in through tall, steel windows. I used available light and captured images which told stories which generated more questions than answers. Many of my photographs were done in the high contrast mode (of black and white) and all were done with my Olympus camera. I photographed the main building, where Sears Roebuck and Company’s orders were assembled and shipped out to customers. This was allegedly more than 2 million square feet of space. Hardwood maple floors, brick walls, poured cement walls, and concrete walls, original steel windows, high ceilings, and concrete pillars became my subjects. I photographed the Power Plant building, which is situated right near the main building, with its generators, color-coded pipes, and furnace. These became stars of my photo shoots. During the days of operation, the power plant provided all of the power to the main building. The silver, two-story water tower provided water to everyone and everything in the building. Looking up at the water tower, I had thoughts of climbing that vicarious ladder, boarding the space ship, and rocketing off into the wide, open galaxy for an Exo experience. I lost track of time during these shoots. After a shoot, when I stepped out of the building and into the midst of winter’s cold air, I was disoriented for a while and had to work on coming back into the current time and space. I took most of these photographs in the cold of winter. At times, while walking through these chilly, vast spaces, stairwells, and vacant places, it was quite eerie. My camera recorded more than I knew. Back at my studio, upon close examination, imagery and images began to reveal themselves to me. Will you tell me what you see? I must thank Mr. Jim Rickets for being my oral historian and for all of his wonderful stories and insight, as he recanted his time spent working in the building. He is a treasured gift, caretaker, and long-time steward of the building. Mr. Rickets provided me with background information, technical descriptions, details, personal anecdotes, and more of a backstory than I could ever imagine. As a young man, Mr. Rickets worked as an order-filler for Sears Roebuck & Company. And, when I met him, he was the Supervisor of Systems and Engineer for the entire property which included the adjacent power plant. Mr. Rickets, you are God-sent who deepened the experience for me. Our friendship will forever remain with me. I added color to some of these images. However, I did not alter the content of the original photograph in any instance. My industrial architectural fine art photographs of the Sears Roebuck & Company building and its power plant (including generators and furnaces) have been collected and hung as decorative pieces of fine art in homes and businesses. Enjoy this historic journey by going through this gallery and sharing it with others... extend the journey by ordering this rare collection of photographic images.
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