Groundbreaking ceremony for Mercer Music at Capricorn draws a crowd


Image: Alex Sandifer

Macon leaders break ground on the Lofts at Capricorn and Mercer Music at Capricorn. Left to right: Benjy Griffith, Travis Griffith, josh Rogers, Jessica Walden, Jim Daws, Karen Lambert, and William Underwood

Katie Atkinson and Will Darragh

Mercer University, NewTown Macon, and The Lofts at Capricorn came together last week to hold a special groundbreaking ceremony for Mercer Music at Capricorn on Oct. 6.

Mercer students, businessmen, local artists and more gathered beside the dusty yellow brick building that used to be one of the most important recording studios in the world of rock and roll to hear about future plans for the site.

The groundbreaking ceremony came after Mercer University announced last December their plan to put the historic Capricorn Studio back to use again.

The historic building, where The Allman Brothers Band recorded music, will be revitalized as part of a residential development in the history of downtown Macon.

The studio itself will be utilized by Mercer music students.

Mercer Music at Capricorn is an initiative meant to help restore the historic Capricorn Recording Studio. The new studio will include space designed to for young musicians and live performance/special events, according to the press release.

Mercer President Bill Underwood joined Jim Daws, designer of the the Lofts, and Alan Walden,a co-founder of Capricorn, and other leaders in the Macon community.

They shoveled the first dirt of the project, officially commemorating the groundbreaking of the Lofts at Capricorn.

Underwood spoke about involving Mercer students in the community in order to create the next great Macon band.

“I want to thank you all for your support… without you all, it would not be possible,” Underwood said.

After the ceremony took place, guests were able to mill about Capricorn Studio and learn about the history of the building.

The speaking platform at the groundbreaking ceremony doubled as a stage for performers Scott Boyer and Tommy Talton. Boyer and Talton, previously of the Capricorn Records band Cowboy, held a special outdoor concert for attendees.

“I know a lot of y’all personally, but I don’t normally see y’all this dressed up,” Boyer said before diving into the pair’s first song.

Talton said he is excited about the reopening of Capricorn.

“It’s going to be used for what it was originally intended to be used for,” Talton said. He then began a song that he said was recorded in the studio.

During the show, guests were invited to eat a lunch prepared by H&H Soul Food. The historic restaurant, a favorite of the Allman Brothers Band, presented guests with bagged lunches of pulled pork sandwiches.

According to a press release issued by Kyle Sears, Mercer’s Director of Media Relations, The Lofts at Capricorn will wrap around the Capricorn Studio building and occupy most of the block surrounded by Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Plum Street, Poplar Street and 5th Street.

Totaling more than 190,000 square feet, the development will include 82 one-bedroom apartments and 55 two-bedrooms lofts and more than 15,000 square feet of new office and retail space, according to the release.