The coronavirus pandemic hasn't stopped reconstruction from beginning this month at the historic DuPre Excelsior Mill.
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The coronavirus pandemic hasn't stopped reconstruction from beginning this month at the historic DuPre Excelsior Mill.

The coronavirus pandemic hasn't stopped reconstruction from beginning this month at the historic DuPre Excelsior Mill. A side of the historic building collapsed in late December following a renovation accident.

Developers are now working to rebuild and add support to the collapsed eastern wall.

Atlanta Preservation Center Director of Operations David Mitchell applauded the developers for sticking with their promise to rebuild. The APC successfully lobbied in 2006 to have the building declared a city landmark.

"The Atlanta Preservation Center is elated with the commitment of the new ownership of the Excelsior Mill for its ongoing preservation and stewardship," he said.

The DuPre Mill was the former home of The Masquerade music venue for nearly three decades, until the venue relocated to the Kenny's Alley space in Underground in 2016.

Developers Southeastern Capital Companies and Coro Realty announced late last year a new project to convert the building into offices after initial plans for a mixed restaurant and retail space failed to materialize.

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Greg Green of the Masquerade told GPB News shortly after the collapse that he hoped there would be a way to salvage the building.

"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," he said. "It would be a great loss to the city, architecturally and historically, if they couldn't."

Prior to the renovation accident, some Georgia residents were critical of plans to convert the building into an office park. Mike Reeves, who owned the property when it was the Excelsior Mill Restaurant through the '80s, agreed with criticism.

"You can't turn everything into an office building. It's the same as when they tried to do that to the Fox," Reeves said. "I mean, you know, this wasn't the Fox Theatre, but it could have been made into something involving art."

Atlanta Preservation Center Executive Director Boyd Coons said the building provides an important context to the city's history.

"You look at much of our development throughout Atlanta, it all looks the same," Boyd said. "When you have these historic buildings that resonate with history, it adds the richness of the experience of being a citizen of Atlanta. It gives you a sense that you're in an unique spot, that you're part of a continuum."

The coronavirus pandemic hasn't stopped reconstruction from beginning this month at the historic DuPre Excelsior Mill.
Caption
The coronavirus pandemic hasn't stopped reconstruction from beginning this month at the historic DuPre Excelsior Mill.
The coronavirus pandemic hasn't stopped reconstruction from beginning this month at the historic DuPre Excelsior Mill.
Caption
The coronavirus pandemic hasn't stopped reconstruction from beginning this month at the historic DuPre Excelsior Mill.
A portion of the DuPre Excelsior Mill collapsed in December following a construction accident.
Caption
A portion of the DuPre Excelsior Mill collapsed in December following a construction accident.