The next International Area Rug Market in Atlanta will be July 9-12, 2014. In addition to offering buyers an opportunity to see the ‘latest and greatest’ from the industry’s premier area rug importers and manufacturers, the show will run concurrently with the July International Gift and Home Furnishings Market, July 8-15, 2014. For more information, visit americasmart.com
And save the date for the next Atlanta International Area Rug Market featuring the National Oriental Rug Show which is scheduled for January 7th-10th , 2015 (temporaries are open January 8th-10th ,2015). The temporary floor will open at 9 a.m. on January 8th , 2015. Again, as an additional benefit, the show will run concurrent with our January International Home Furnishings and Gift Market (January 6th -13th , 2015) giving your company the opportunity to access multiple channels of distribution. The combined January shows attract over 50,000 buyers from all over the world. Attached you will find all the exhibiting information, deadlines, and show pricing. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Kevin Malkiewicz via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 404-220-2437 or Lucille Laufer, Executive Director of the ORIA, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 201-866-5054. We look forward to working with you and we appreciate your business.
Download one of the packages above to find all the exhibiting information and show pricing. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us via email at email@example.com or by phone at 201-866-5054.
The master plan guiding AmericasMart® Atlanta’s home and design franchise growth will see its latest and most significant advancement this July with the launch of the Building 1 Floor 15 development program leading to a January 2015 opening, according to David Savula, executive vice president of leasing.
The Floor 15 development signals a major expansion for AmericasMart’s home furnishings product mix through the addition of more than 100,000 square feet of space created expressly for design-led furniture, lighting and accents. The expansion expresses AmericasMart’s broader mission of delivering a product-rich market experience for designers, specifiers and specialty retailers needing the significant advantages of a single-source destination offering the full spectrum of lifestyle home furnishings merchandise in a sophisticated setting.
“This expansion is the true nexus of demand and performance,” adds Jeffrey L. Portman, Sr., vice chairman and president. “Our continuing growth in the home sector, particularly over the past four years, positions us to address space requirements both from existing exhibitors seeking larger footprints and new lines tapping AmericasMart’s global buying power. Those are the pivot points driving the Floor 15 mission,” Portman adds.
Adding to the excitement surrounding the summer Atlanta Market, International Market Centers (IMC) announced the much anticipated return of in-person events and celebrations with a schedule of industry parties, culinary demonstrations and expanded amenities set for the July 13-19, 2021 staging at AmericasMart Atlanta. “With market attendance and activity returning to more ‘normal’ conditions, we are delighted to resume the live education, networking and industry celebrations that are a hallmark of the market experience,” said Dorothy Belshaw, IMC executive vice president, chief marketing and customer officer. “We will celebrate industry reconnection in Atlanta Market style with an opening night party, daily networking events and the relaunch of our one-of-a-kind Demonstration Kitchen. We also will introduce a new series of free buyer amenities to address current market transportation needs.” Kick-Off Party and Demonstration Kitchen Reopening The Market Kick-Off Party on Wednesday, July 14 offers a long-awaited opportunity for the industry to gather again. Open to all market attendees, the Kick-Off party will feature entertainment and complimentary light bites and drinks beginning at 3 p.m. in the Building 3, Floor 2 atrium. The celebration continues Thursday through Saturday with free daily happy hours from 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. in the atrium. Atlanta Market’s popular Demonstration Kitchen in Building 2, Floor 8 reopens with a live demonstration and book signing by tastemaker and author Danny Seo, publisher and co- principal of Rue magazine and editor-in-chief of Naturally Danny Seo who will prepare a new dessert recipe from his Naturally Delicious Desserts cookbook on Thursday, July 15 at 11 a.m. Also playing in the Demonstration Kitchen are a series of videos featuring all-star Atlanta chef, restaurateur and “Top Chef” fan favorite Kevin Gillespie preparing his char sui pork dish and a classic mai tai cocktail. Additional in-person experiences include at-market installations featuring a tribute to the 2021 Greeting Card Association LOUIE Award finalists in Building 2, Floor 2; a vignette of Market Snapshot finalists in Building 1, Floor 1; and instagrammable moments throughout Buildings 1, 2 and 3. A Welcoming Experience from the Market and the City A new free shuttle to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and expanded free buyer parking make it easier for attendees to come to-and-from market. The airport shuttle leaves AmericasMart from the new bus terminal at Building 1 every hour on the hour from 1 – 7 p.m., July 14-17. Free buyer parking is available close to the AmericasMart campus in the Peachtree Center Garage (0.2 miles from Building 1 at 161 Peachtree Center Ave.) and American Cancer Society Building (connected by bridge to Building 3 at 112 Baker St NW) July 13-19 on a first-come first served basis until full. For more information about travel and parking, visitAtlantaMarket.com/Attend/Travel. Atlanta Market’s buyers’ lounges return, with sponsorship by Juniper, IMC’s new fully integrated omnichannel B2B e-commerce platform launching in 2021. Buyers can use the lounges, located in Building 1, Floor 6 and Building 2, Floor 8, for meetings, networking and taking a break from market. In the lounges, buyers can learn more about the Juniper platform, pre-register for the JuniperMarket and pick up branded swag items. Adding to the market excitement are expanded pedestrian spaces and a new outdoor art exhibit planned for the iconic Peachtree Street in front of Building 1. The expanded pedestrian space extends the sidewalk for three...read more
Nourison announced introduction of hundreds of new on-trend styles during Atlanta and Las Vegas markets including floral and abstract patterns. Lustrous Weave includes classic florals with erased patterns and a delicate sheen in muted colors for a subtle elegance. Quarry features both abstract patterns and modern expressions of classic Persian design in mineral-inspired colors. Uptown by Michael Amini is a new collection with abstract patterns and earth tones. Mina Victory Home Accents introduces pillows with mixed textures, including velvet with metallic prints and hair-on-hide with sequins in rose gold and jewel tones. Nourison’s summer market focus is on blush and bold florals, teal and gold, and dark glamour trends showcased through new and best-selling styles. Nourison will be involved in a number of events at Atlanta and Las Vegas markets. Nourison and Caracole are hosting a party at Caracole’s showroom at Suite 14-C-6 with custom cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and live music to celebrate the stylish pairings of their collections during Atlanta Market on Saturday, July 13 from 4-7pm. Attendees will have the chance to “Roll the Dice” for great deals and prizes in the Nourison showroom at C112 during Las Vegas Market from Sunday, July 28 to Thursday, August 1. Mina Peykar, Executive VP of Mina Victory Home Accents by Nourison, is being honored at the first-ever Lean In & Lift Up event: Celebrating Successful Women and The Mentors Who Believed In Themon Sunday, July 28from 5:30-7:30pm during Las Vegas Market at Las Vegas Market Center, Building B Worldview on Sixteen. Nourison is donating kathy Ireland Home® rugs and pillows for the Up on the Roof fundraiser for Gift for Life live auction, headlined by Kathy Ireland on July 29 during Las Vegas Market at Las Vegas Market Center, Building B Worldview on Sixteen from 6-8pm. Proceeds raised at the event will benefit the Design Industries Foundation Fighting...read more
International Market Centers (IMC) has announced dates through 2023 for its gift and home furnishings markets in Atlanta and Las Vegas. The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market and Las Vegas Market both run semi-annually in January and July. “IMC is releasing a comprehensive slate of future dates for The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market® and Las Vegas Market to make planning easier for our customers and related industry associations who host events concurrently with our markets,” said Dorothy Belshaw, executive vice president, chief marketing and digital officer for International Market Centers. “These dates reflect a consistent late-January date pattern for Las Vegas Market, as well as the new mid-January timing for Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market which was adopted in September 2018 in response to buyer and supplier preferences for dates farther from New Year’s which would allow them to better plan and prepare for new product introduction and inventory replenishment.” 2019 July 9 – July 15 – The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market at AmericasMart® Atlanta July 28 – Aug. 1 – Las Vegas Market at World Market Center Las Vegas 2020 Jan. 14 – Jan. 21 – The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market at AmericasMart Atlanta Jan. 26 – Jan. 30 – Las Vegas Market at World Market Center Las Vegas July 14 – July 20 – The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market at AmericasMart Atlanta July 26 – July 30 – Las Vegas Market at World Market Center Las Vegas and The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas 2021 Jan. 12 – Jan. 19 – The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market at AmericasMart Atlanta Jan. 24 – Jan. 28 – Las Vegas Market at World Market Center Las Vegas and The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas July 13 – July 19 – The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market at AmericasMart Atlanta July 25 – July 29 – Las Vegas Market at World Market Center Las Vegas and The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas 2022 Jan. 11 – Jan. 18 – The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market at AmericasMart Atlanta Jan. 23 – Jan. 27 – Las Vegas Market at World Market Center Las Vegas and The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas July 12 – July 18 – The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market at AmericasMart Atlanta July 24 – July 28 – Las Vegas Market at World Market Center Las Vegas and The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas 2023 Jan. 10 – Jan. 17 – The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market at AmericasMart Atlanta Jan. 29 – Feb. 2 – Las Vegas Market at World Market Center Las Vegas and The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas July 11 – July 17 – The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market at AmericasMart Atlanta July 30 – August 3 – Las Vegas Market at World Market Center Las Vegas and The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas Las Vegas Market is the leading home furnishings and gift market in the western U.S., presenting 4,000+ gift, home décor and furniture resources in an unrivaled market destination. Las Vegas Market features thousands of gift, furniture...read more
Designers and retailers gathering in Atlanta for AmericasMart’s® third annual Fall Design Week featuring Gift and Home, September 24 – 28, 2018, will discover select trend-driven showrooms plus educational seminars, networking opportunities and more—all orchestrated to help advance their businesses and brands. The 2018 lineup brings gift and home together to give buyers another opportunity to explore products and trends introduced over the summer with merchandise showcased in AmericasMart’s Open Year Round showrooms plus more than 100 additional showrooms across the home, gift, holiday and rug collections. Celebrity designer Vern Yip headlines three days of top educational programming presented by tastemakers and thought leaders from across the design, lifestyle, legal and publishing realms. “Fall Design Week is an important extension of our daily design business at AmericasMart for local and regional interior designers,” says Jenny Heinzen York, vice president of Home for AmericasMart. “On the retail side, as store sales are tracking up for the year and a robust holiday selling season lies ahead, retailers across categories are encouraged use this week to make last-minute additions to their store floors.” The Market also caters to buyers in the event planning, film, staging, architecture, landscaping, and hospitality industries. Fall Design Week’s signature educational programming—presented Tuesday, September 25 through Thursday, September 27—prepares buyers and designers for the upcoming season. All Fall Design Week seminars garner a 0.1 CEU credit. Interior designers Rhonda Peterson, Patricia McLean and Howard Wiggins share their tips, tricks and traditions for celebrating the season in style in a breakfast seminar “Designing & Entertaining for the Holidays” moderated by Elizabeth Ralls, editor-in-chief of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles on Tuesday, September 25. Yip shares his journey on breaking into television (and how he really works with those tiny budgets!), advice on building a sustainable interior design practice and his own inspirational design philosophy in a lunch and learn later that day. Attorney Angie Avard Turner starts the day on Wednesday, September 26 with “A Legal Crash Course for Creatives: What You Need to Know to Run & Protect Your Business” breakfast seminar, followed by a lunch and learn featuring Lauren Kay, deputy editor for The Knot, sharing highlights from The Knot’s Annual Trend Report. The Fall Design Week programming continues Thursday, September 27, starting with breakfast and Christopher Grubb explaining how today’s industry professionals should build mutually beneficial long-term relationships to implement an unforgettable design experience for the client in “Designers, Contractors, & Architects: Creating Relationships & Partnerships for Referrals & Business Success.” Later over lunch, highly successful designers and business women Sandra Funk, Shayla Copas and Lisa Mende discuss their journeys to interior design, including what to expect when starting a business, how to overcome typical roadblocks that most entrepreneurs face, how to set and make business goals, when to hire the first employee and how to successfully run a profitable, long-term business with Mary Logan Bikoff, editor-in-chief of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME. Fall Design Week buyers can also explore programming presented as part of the co-located VOW | New World of Bridal® (September 25-27, 2018). Highlights include Desiree Siegfried of Desiree Hartsock Bridal sharing “Styling & Marketing to Sell the Millennial Bride” and the VOW | New World of Bridal Fashion Show both on Tuesday, September 25. In addition to must-see programming, Fall Design Week attendees also enjoy...read more
International Market Centers (“IMC”) announced the completion of the acquisition of AmericasMart Atlanta. The merger of the two best-in-class B2B showroom operators creates the world’s largest permanent mart for the furniture, gift, home décor, rug, and apparel industries. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The combined corporate entity, which will operate under the name “International Market Centers,” now owns and operates nearly 20 million square feet of permanent showroom space in Las Vegas (NV), High Point (NC), and Atlanta (GA). The individual Markets and their respective venues will continue to operate under their existing names and branding. “With this transaction complete, we have begun the process of bringing together best practices, technology, and personnel from both organizations,” said Robert Maricich, Chief Executive Officer of International Market Centers. “Between now and year-end, we will diligently be working on the strategic blueprint for the next phase of our shared growth and value creation.” IMC has contracted with leading consultancy, Bain & Company to work through the integration and blueprint process. Blackstone Real Estate Partners and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities (Blackstone; NYSE: BX) acquired International Market Centers in 2017 in partnership with Fireside Investments. “We are excited to be part of the next stage of growth for IMC and AmericasMart,” said Tyler Henritze, Senior Managing Director and Head of US Real Estate Acquisitions at Blackstone. “This investment further demonstrates our long-term commitment to IMC’s B2B business platform for the home, gift and now apparel industries.” In addition to this most recent investment, IMC recently announced plans to construct a new 300,000 sf tradeshow and EXPO center on its World Market Center campus in Las Vegas, built a new 20,000 sq. ft. showroom building in downtown High Point, acquired an existing showroom building in High Point, and launched a new digital platform to support its existing market business and drive year-round lead generation for its customers. “Our goal at IMC has always been to provide the most efficient, effective and compelling business platforms to bring buyers and sellers together,” Maricich said. “In every industry we serve, the IMC team is dedicated to creating value and growth opportunities for our partners through world-class customer service, amenities and technology advancements, and we remain steadfast to that...read more
The ninth-annual ICON HONORS celebrated global innovation as top achievers and superior achievements were recognized on the most anticipated and important night in the home and gift industry. Staged at AmericasMart® Atlanta on July 12, ICON HONORS guests celebrated the achievements of the best of the best in the home and gift industry. Honors were conferred upon those in the industry doing truly extraordinary things in pursuit of their dreams – those who achieve success through ingenuity, integrity, creativity, energy and hard work. Retailers, manufacturers, sales agencies and service providers all were eligible to pursue ICON HONORS recognition in a broad field of 16 distinct categories of competition. Honorees were selected through extensive adjudication by highly qualified experts drawn from the world of design, manufacturing and product development. Here are the ICON HONORS 2018 Honorees: The 2018 Innovation Honors Product Innovations Coleen Christian Burke First Ladies Collection By Fitz and Floyd The 2018 Innovation Honors Product Innovations Picnic Time Family of Brands The 2018 Contribution Honors Industry Influence Franz Collection Inc. The 2018 Branding Honors Branding/Identity Alabama Sawyer The 2018 Branding Honors Branding/Identity Museum Store Association ICON HONORS 2018 The Gift and Home Trade Association/Gift for Life Honor of Excellence April Cornell ICON HONORS 2018 The AmericasMart Medal of Excellence Honor Bobbie Gottlieb Tom Gottlieb Two’s Company ICON HONORS is the signature event of The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®. It is produced and staged by AmericasMart® Atlanta in exclusive partnership with the Gift & Home Trade Association (GHTA) and Progressive Business Media, and in affiliation with Gift For Life. Please visit www.ICONHONORS.com for information about ICON...read more
The 2018 wholesale trading season kicks into high gear with The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market (Showrooms: July 10-16, 2018; Temporaries: July 11-15, 2018) and The Atlanta International Area Rug Market (July 11-15, 2018) as buyers explore growing merchandise collections and a wide variety of new and newly expanded showrooms. The latest permanent exhibitor additions and expansions at AmericasMart include: New: Specializing in customized solutions for healthcare, hospitality, senior living and corporate office environments, Joel Robinson & Associates takes a permanent showroom on Building 1, Floor 5. Relocation: Elico relocates its collection of wall décor and framed art on Building 2, Floor 11. New: Mastour Galleries Inc opens a new showroom in Building 1, Floor 5 featuring its unique antiques Oriental & European rugs as well as recreated decorative Oriental & European rugs. Expansion: Founded in 2000, Catstudio is a unique design company expanding its showroom of on Building 1, Floor 9. Relocation: Design Legacy by Kelly O’Neal relocates its collection of furniture, accessories, art and textiles designed by Dallas based interior designer Kelly O’Neal to Building 1, Floor 9. New: With a new showroom on Building 1, Floor 5, Stover Sales & Associates, Inc, specializes in the sales and marketing of upscale decorative plumbing and door/cabinet hardware products. New: Showcasing its collection on Building 1, Floor 5, Summer Classics Commercial Sales offers a unique product mix of timeless luxury outdoor furniture. Expansion: Sugarboo & Co. expands its collection of uplifting art prints, charming home goods and whimsical paper products on Building 1, Floor 9. Relocation: Homeview Designs, a manufacturer and importer of quality home décor, gift, decorative lawn and garden, and seasonal products, relocates to Building 2, Floor 12. New: Abigails opens a new showroom on Building 1, Floor 15 showcasing its design of unique tabletop and decorative accessories. Relocation: Importer of upscale farmhouse home décor, PD Home and Garden relocates to Building 2, Floor 12. New: Antique Curiosities provides vintage styled framed artwork in a new showroom on Building 1, Floor 11. Expansion: Elegant Furniture & Lighting has rapidly transcended into one of the premier and expands is product to Building 1, Floor 12. Relocation: Making modern interior design available for everyone, Eightmood relocates its product to Building 2, Floor 12. New: Bovi, LLC offers Portugal’s finest bedding made from 100 percent long staple-combed cotton on Building 1, Floor 15. Expansion: Frank Thomas Gallery grows its collection of art decor on Building 1, Floor 14. New: Graccioza, LLC opens a new showroom on Building 1, Floor 15 specializing in Portugal’s finest bath towels and rugs. Relocation: Recently moved to Building 1, Floor 3, F.J. Kashanian Rug Corp. is dedicated to providing high-quality, fairly priced merchandise as fast as possible.. New: Itinerant Studio is a production art company located in Springfield, Ohio known for their large format works on unusual materials, located on Building 1, Floor 9. Relocation: Well-known in the international carpet and rug industry for at least a century, Harounian Rugs International relocates its product assortments to Building 1, Floor 4. New: Known for aesthetically warm, primitively handsome true works of art, Jan Barboglio showcases its collections in a new space on Building 1, Floor 15. Expansion: Relocation: Safavieh relocates is collection of luxurious area rugs and finely crafted furniture. Home Ltd. expands its...read more
The Museum Store Association and AmericasMart® will bring to the non-profit retail community an unmatched wholesale buying experience with The Museum Collective, the all-new curated merchandise collection making its debut at The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market® July 10—16, 2018. Custom-designed to serve the refined merchandising requirements of museum stores, zoos, aquariums, catalogues, online sellers and other specialty retail enterprises, The Museum Collective will present a curated selection of quality gifts, décor, collectibles and private label products under a new strategic Museum Store Association-AmericasMart partnership. “The Museum Collective achieves our long-standing vision for a selective product presentation staged amid the larger merchandise resources of a global marketplace,” notes Susan Tudor, Museum Store Association first vice president and manager of Visitor Services and store buyer for the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville, Fla. “The Museum Collective’s July debut opens the door to a new Market experience of incredible depth and promise,” Tudor adds. Located in Building 2, Floor 3, The Museum Collective venue is strategically positioned alongside gift showrooms and temporaries in Building 2, with connecting bridges to AmericasMart’s vast Building 1 home collections—including the juried ANTIQUES collection on Floor 2—and the juried Boutique collection featuring jewelry and fashion accessories in Building 3, Floor 4. The venue serves as a junction point for buyers shopping all categories across the AmericasMart campus. “With The Museum Collective we are able to deliver an efficient buying experience designed to help the nonprofit retail sector soar,” notes JoAnn Miller Marshall, AmericasMart executive vice president of Tradeshows. “This addition to our curated product resources will enrich the Market experience in ways we cannot begin to imagine,” adds Miller Marshall. The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market runs Tuesday, July 10 – Monday, July 16, 2018 (temporaries Wednesday, July 11 – Sunday, July 15). The Atlanta International Area Rug Market® is Wednesday, July 11 – Sunday, July 15, 2018. For more information,...read more
The most anticipated and important night in the home and gift industry advances to a transformative new staging and aesthetic when ICON HONORS 2018 fills the spectacular AmericasMart® Building 3 atrium with its annual celebration of those recognized for supreme achievement across a wide spectrum of accomplishments, according to Jeffrey L. Portman, Sr., AmericasMart chairman, president and chief operating officer. Highlighting the new ICON HONORS staging and introduction of the 2018 Honorees will be an industry-exclusive address by Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and founder and Chief Executive Officer of Thrive Global. Huffington’s presentation will imprint a new mark of contemporary cultural thought leadership upon ICON HONORS, which from its founding has championed the role of independent business in the global economy, notes Portman. “The convergent forces of innovation, creative expression and entrepreneurial energy equip the home and gift industry with an inexhaustible power source almost beyond our comprehension,” says Portman. “Each year, ICON HONORS offers us a glimpse of this greatness in the stories of those who achieve truly remarkable things,” he adds. For the first time ever, ICON HONORS will be open and accessible to all July Market attendees by virtue of its new staging, and will be showcased and broadcast like never before as the centerpiece of AmericasMart LIVE, which delivers an eclectic mix of thought-leader presentations and original broadcast content, capped by Huffington’s address. The celebrated author of 15 books, Huffington launched The Huffington Post in May 2005. Her eponymous news and blog site quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet, and in 2012 won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. In August 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success. She has been named to TIME’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. She serves on numerous boards, including Uber and The Center for Public Integrity. ICON HONORS 2018 is Thursday, July 12, 2018. It is produced by AmericasMart in partnership with the Gift & Home Trade Association (GHTA) and Progressive Business Media, and in association with the industry foundation Gift For Life. Please visit www.ICONHONORS.com for more...read more
Atlanta lost one of her greatest champions with the passing of John C. Portman, Jr. on Friday, December 29, 2017 at the age of 93. The leadership and vision of Mr. Portman were instrumental in moving Atlanta from a gracious Southern city into a vibrant world capital. As an architect, entrepreneur, artist and altruist, John Portman had a dramatic impact on Atlanta’s success and growth as a major international city, and he was instrumental in having similar impact on other cities throughout the world. John Portman was born in his mother’s home town of Walhalla, South Carolina on December 4th, 1924 to John and Edna Portman. He was their only son among six children. He began selling magazines on the street corner and then created his own “franchise plan” for selling gum in front of Atlanta’s movie theaters. As a youngster and before movie theaters had concession stands, he discovered he could invest in a case of gum and then sell the individual pieces at a profit. He recruited his school mates to stand in front of the theaters with the gum while he rode his bike back and forth between them, collecting money, making change and replenishing their supplies. The hill he rode his bike up and down on Peachtree Street between theaters is now crossed by John Portman Boulevard. While working as a movie usher at one of those theaters, he first met Jan, the beautiful young lady who would become his wife. In another job held during high school, he parked cars in a downtown parking deck, the Belle Isle Parking Garage. The owner, Mr. Henderson, started him out at 25¢ an hour. During World War II, the government converted the Belle Isle Parking Garage into an office building that housed government agencies. In the mid-1950’s, Portman was a young architect looking for design commissions when he heard that the government was vacating the office building. Using the creativity for which he became renowned, he developed a plan to convert the building into a wholesale furniture mart and he went to meet with Mr. Henderson, his old boss, who still owned the building, to convince him a furniture mart would a great use for the building. Of course, Portman also proposed that he should be hired as the architect to design the conversion of the building. Mr. Henderson balked, explaining that he did not know anything about running that sort of business. But, he suggested that if Portman really believed in the concept that he had just pitched, then he should create a company to run the furniture mart business, and Mr. Henderson would rent him the building for it. Portman took him up on his offer, and this was the birth of what is now AmericasMart with over eight million square feet of space. Mr. Portman attended Forest Elementary School, O’Keefe Middle School and Tech High all within very close distance to his family residence on Boulevard in Atlanta. He first pursued his interest in architecture as a student during his high school years at Tech High. At the age of 15, he was bored with mechanical drawing, which was a required course, so he requested that his teacher and administrators allow him to substitute courses in architectural drafting for mechanical drawing. Permission was granted,...read more