Some Call Former Masquerade Site Plans 'A Slap In The Face'

Dec 6, 2019

The historic site that previously housed the Masquerade music venue is about to become an office park.

Developers Southeastern Capital Companies and Coro Realty announced this week a new project for the Old DuPre Mill location. The initial plans for the property were to convert it into a mixed restaurant and retail space.

The Masquerade, known for having three differently-sized stages dubbed “Heaven,” “Hell” and “Purgatory,” was located for 28 years at the site. It relocated in 2016 to the former Kenny’s Alley space in Underground following some uncertainty.

Many Atlantans who grew up with the venue are not happy about the news.

“That is a slap in the face to that incredible venue,” KJ Dannehold said. “Welcome to corporate America.”

The nostalgia surrounding the space continues nearly four years on for some, such as local musician Maggie Schneider, who wrote a song about the old location.

“As someone who grew up playing and going to shows at 695 North Avenue, I am heartbroken that this space is being turned into offices,” Schneider said. “The old Masquerade site, full of history and memories, is now a site for something empty and meaningless.”

Several Georgia residents consider the redevelopment of the location a cultural loss for the state.

Swette Davis, a bartender at Mary’s in East Atlanta Village, said they are disappointed but not surprised.

“It’s another shiny nail in the coffin of gentrification,” Davis said.

Flowery Branch resident Shannon McQuaid said it’s an insult to the place and its history.

“Out of all the things they could have done, I’m disappointed,” she said.

However, Jay Clark with Southeastern Capital Companies said those who are worried about preserving the history of the building shouldn’t be.

“We didn’t take out some of the old machinery," he said. "It’ll be part of the aesthetics.” 

Clark added that the old flooring and columns will also be preserved.

During its time at the 695 North Avenue location, the Masquerade hosted bands such as Nirvana, Dave Matthews Band, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Ramones and Public Enemy.