Full Restoration, Repair Promised Following Wall Collapse at DuPre Excelsior Mill in Old Fourth Ward

There is currently no timeline as to when the work will be completed.
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Southeastern Capital Companies and Coro Realty are in the process of stabilizing and restoring the historic DuPre Excelsior Mill on North Avenue.

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What Now Atlanta first reported on the construction snafu at the historic Old Fourth Ward site, which led to the collapse of the east wall in December.

“We knew from the beginning we were going to restore the building,” Robert Fransen, managing partner at Coro Realty, said in a press statement Tuesday.

“We spent considerable time and energy to ensure we could do it correctly and with the support of historic preservation groups and the city. We are now ready to move forward with rebuilding the east wall and completing The Mill’s adaptive reuse.” 

A joint venture partnership between Southeastern Capital Companies and Coro Realty acquired the former 118-year-old Excelsior Mill in July 2016, leading the extensive renovation efforts into The Mill offices.

In late-December 2019, excavation work on the site in accordance with the structural engineers’ specifications caused a wall to crumble. 

Further inspection of the accident revealed extensive damage to the interior of that section of the wall sustained over the years, according to the release.

Construction crews have now reinforced the remaining wall to limit further damage.

Under the guidance of structural engineers, construction crews have begun removing the loose stones and segments of the wall on the north and south sides, in preparation for the restoration of the east wall. 

The partnership will seek permits from the City of Atlanta in the coming weeks to begin the restoration.

There is currently no timeline as to when the work will be completed and is pending the permitting process.  

The partnership is working closely with the Atlanta Urban Design Commission and the Atlanta Department of City Planning on the restoration.

Smith Dalia Architects is heading the adaptation of the building, combining contemporary and historical narratives.

The Mill first appears on the 1901 fire protection map for the city of Atlanta, but it likely predates the map.

Originally an excelsior mill, the property is best known as the former music venue, The Masquerade, which has since relocated to Underground Atlanta.

“The Atlanta Preservation Center has advocated for the Excelsior Mill’s protection for years, and we are very grateful for Southeastern Capital Companies and Coro Realty’s dedication to the stewardship of this building,” David Y. Mitchell, director of operations with the Atlanta Preservation Center, said in the release.

“This project has produced unique challenges, and the sincere focus of all parties involved exhibits the courage and commitment we need for preservation.”

Construction Site at DuPre Excelsior Mill December 2019
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Construction Site at DuPre Excelsior Mill December 2019

Kamille D. Whittaker

Kamille D. Whittaker is an Atlanta-based journalist, editor and researcher.

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1 Comment

  1. I think the focus on the Structural Engineer’s specifications leaves the impression that the Structural Engineer may be a fault. More accurately the issue as you report was concealed damage to the wall which the Engineer could not have know about.

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