Since opening its doors in 1961, the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center has evolved to become a preeminent Southeastern design center.
This year it celebrates its 60th anniversary. ADAC was one of the first ventures from renowned Atlanta architect and developer John C. Portman Jr. It began as a display and distribution center for the manufacturers of home fabrics, furniture, fixtures and accessories. The center was expanded several times throughout the 1970s and 1980s. It underwent an extensive renovation in 2006 and became known not only as a place to find new products, but also a venue for networking and learning for top design talents. In 2012, ADAC opened its doors to the public with General Manager Katie Miner at the helm.
In 2018, the facility was acquired by International Market Centers. Over the past six decades, the 550,000-square-foot campus, which today has more than 60 showrooms, 26 design studios and two restaurants, has been home to myriad well-known brands, showroom owners and designers, including Hal Ainsworth, Winton Noah and Charles ‘Jerry’ Pair. We chatted with Miner about ADAC’s storied past and its promising future.
How has ADAC helped the design industry in Atlanta grow?
We’ve grown from a regional powerhouse to a global notable even more so since opening to the public 10 years ago. Our campus provides year-round educational initiatives through our programming and events. These primarily complimentary experiences offer access to designers; big names in the industry during our two annual markets and the ability to see, touch and feel products right here on-site.
How do you see ADAC evolving in the next 10 years?
Our mission will always be the same, which is to bring access to incredible design whether that is through products, people or place making. We hope that with this access we continue to inspire the next generation of designers, the design enthusiasts and the Atlanta local design community as a whole.
What are some of the challenges ADAC has faced?
Back in 2012, we went from a trade-only center to being open to the general public. It was an exciting time, yet we were challenged with educating the public here and beyond that they could have access to the building. Another challenge for us is having design enthusiasts and consumers understand the difference in quality, craftsmanship and materials that our showrooms offer. Investing in signature pieces, just like a wardrobe or shoes, pays off over time. Pieces become heirloom and last a lifetime.
ADAC’s Birthday Party:
Celebrate ADAC’s 60th anniversary at this year’s fall market, DISCOVER ADAC. From Sept. 21-23 a series of guests, including noted interior designers, industry veterans and rising stars, will gather for a program of keynote presentations, salon-style talks, book signings, product launches, tours and more.
For more information or to register, visit adacatlanta.com/discover-adac
Giannina S. Bedford is multi-faceted writer and editor. Her work covers design, travel, food and business. She’s penned Simply Buckhead’s home feature since inception and held a variety of editorial roles at the magazine. Her freelance work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, USA Today, Virtuoso Life, Hemispheres and TravelandLeisure.com. She also contributes regularly Atlanta Business Chronicle. Fluent in Spanish, Giannina was born in Miami and grew up in Brazil, Chile, Hawaii and Australia. She currently lives in Dunwoody with her two kids and husband.