The DuPre Excelsior mill that stood at the heart of downtown Alaska partially collapsed as a consequence of the recent construction glitch. A witness reported that he saw some construction workers digging around the foundation on the day of the mishap and the stones and steel of the dominant structure started disintegrating. Experts assume that the workers must have gone too deep with their diggings which eventually disturbed its foundation and led to the collapse.
Earlier, this space was dedicated to a masquerade music venue for almost 28 years, but presently, it was undergoing renovation to make way for an office park. Nevertheless, recreating an office park was not always the plan; Coro Reality along with Developers Southeastern Capital Companies, the building’s chief developers responsible for the adaptive reuse project, implemented the modification earlier this month. The initial plan was to fabricate the available area into a mixed restaurant and retail space, but after considering the statistics of the market, the scheme changed.
The spokesperson of the company confirmed the collapse and stated that the “eastern wall of the Excelsior Mill in North Avenue has collapsed”. Furthermore, it was also assured that they are still in the process of identifying how and what led to the collapse but according to the maiden reports, the root cause must have been the excavation work conducted on-site as per the guidelines of the structural engineer in-charge.
Fortunately, none of the workers present on the location were injured but, the degree of damage that ensued from this catastrophe is yet to be delineated. If the plans outlined by the developers are to be believed, the original stone of the structure and “exposed timbers” was intended to be reintroduced during the construction into the mixed-office space known as “The Mill”.
The developers in their statement released on Friday also accepted that they are fully aware of the historical relevance of these structures and respecting the same, they had undertaken a string of precautions to safeguard them during the restoration process; nonetheless, their expectations were not effectively met with.
A few days ago, Jay Clarke with Southeastern Capital companies affirmed that one doesn’t need to worry about the preservation of this heritage because their renovation plan includes conserving the original columns and flooring of the structure. Additionally, he also avowed that some of the old machinery has been left behind in the building to keep its old-school aesthetics intact for the present and coming generation.
The inception of the Old Fourth Building dates back to circa 1890, and The Masquerade music venue to which it had been home for so long was shifted to Underground Atlanta only recently. Even before this, the Mill was the shelter to a pizzeria and barrio and its most intriguing part lied in the fact that all the cultural semblances were gathered under this single roof. Everything from Shakespearean plays to movies and bands had this one address before they were relocated and the building was recreated into The Masquerade.