The Masquerade on Saturday responded to news of the partial collapse of the DuPre Excelsior Mill, the music venue's former home of 28 years. It relocated in 2016 to the former Kenny’s Alley space in Underground following some uncertainty.
Greg Green, who has worked at The Masquerade since 1991, released this statement to GPB News:
When we relocated the Masquerade from North Avenue three years ago it felt like it was time for a change. However, the experience was bittersweet. So much that was important to the Atlanta music scene had taken place inside of those walls. So many great bands had played there, and so many careers, including mine, had started there. In leaving, there was some comfort in knowing that the building that we had occupied for 27 years, and which had played such a vital role in so many people's lives, would remain, to a large extent, unchanged. It was really sad and shocking to stop by yesterday and see the collapse of the eastern part of the building. I'm not a builder or an engineer, but I really hope the developers, who have been big supporters of The Masquerade and the Atlanta music scene for years, are able to find a way to maintain and/or rebuild as much as possible. It would be a great loss to the city, architecturally and historically, if they couldn't. Fingers crossed.
The location is undergoing renovations to become an office park. Developers Southeastern Capital Companies and Coro Realty announced earlier this month a new project after initial plans for converting the property into a mixed restaurant and retail space failed to materialize.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Historic DuPre Excelsior Mill Partially Collapses During Construction
The developers released a statement Friday afternoon:
Today, Coro Realty and Southeastern Capital learned the eastern wall of the Excelsior Mill on North Avenue has collapsed. We are in the process of discovering what exactly happened, but preliminary information leads us to believe it was related to excavation work being done on site in accordance with the structural engineers’ specifications. No one was injured. It will take some time to assess the damage and figure out the best way forward. We are aware of the historic nature of these structures and have taken many precautions to protect them while we renovate and restore them.
Some Georgia residents were previously critical of plans for the site, feeling it was disrespectful to its cultural past.
Jay Clark with Southeastern Capital Companies previously said those who are worried about preserving the history of the building shouldn’t be because plans were to preserve the original flooring and columns.
“We didn’t take out some of the old machinery," he said. "It’ll be part of the aesthetics.”