Four abandoned cabinetry factory warehouses covered in graffiti sat vacant for more than a decade on a forgotten lot just south of the recently retired Georgia Dome. By all definitions, it was an eyesore.
The solution began with the creative vision of the Swartzberg family, who purchased the 1920s complex that was used by Abrams Fixture Corporation to manufacture cabinetry until the 1990s. And then entered two sisters who launched a creative space to house their late mother’s antiques, now used as set decorations on numerous television and film productions here in Georgia.
The rebirth of the complex began a few years ago when the Swartzbergs initiated “Phase I,” which involved revamping two of the four warehouses. The warehouses were gutted to create wide-open space inviting to artists who wanted to display their work and generate unique ideas, much like the graffiti artists did years ago on the exterior of the warehouses.
It wasn’t long before this hidden gem was discovered by Georgia’s film industry and a number of creative businesses that serve it. That’s where Maryelle St. Clare and Christine
Ask them about their work, and you won’t hear Christina tell you about life as a bank controller, or Maryelle go on about the day-to-day life in corporate operations. Not anymore. Thanks to the film industry, these women have turned one of the Swartzberg’s warehouses into a mini-mall for set decorators and prop masters.
Welcome to Abrams Creative Space, home to set props ranging from original still imagery to creepy doll heads, bedroom sets to lighting. There’s even a taxidermist that rents space there. The rundown warehouse has literally turned into a one-stop shop for any set decorator — and Georgia has plenty of those at work. Add a few more golf carts and a movie trailers and you would think you were on Sunset Boulevard.
Ok, maybe it’s not there yet, but give it time …
In just a few months, Abrams Creative Space has become home to more than a dozen businesses, each bringing something totally unique to mix.
The sister’s main reason for having a space this size was so that they could keep all the antiques their late mother collected in her world travels. “The shop has given us the freedom to do things we actually enjoy while prolonging the life of our mother’s possessions, and making money all at the same time,” says Christine.