Architect and Developer, Jack Portman’s China dream evolves

By Trevor Williams

Jack Portman’s most recent honor from the American Institute of Architects was championed by the local chapter, but the man whose father designed much of downtown Atlanta has built his own name by bolstering the family firm abroad.

John C. “Jack” Portman III, son of architect, developer and artist John C. Portman Jr., ventured to China in 1980, pioneering the entry of John Portman & Associates and its related development company into a market previously closed to foreign firms.

While his father had credits like the AmericasMart, Peachtree Center and Westin Peachtree Plaza to his name, Jack, then in his late 20s, saw China as a way to help the firm diversify while indulging his interest in other cultures.

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