The Impact on Macon and the Future of Music

Macon Community Impact

The Capricorn Studio building anchors the largest market-rate development in the history of downtown Macon. Totaling more than 150,000 square feet, The Lofts at Capricorn includes 82 one-bedroom apartments and 55 two-bedroom lofts. The four-story complex, which is currently under construction and will be finished in 2017, has a 4,000-square-foot leasing office and clubhouse, an outdoor pool, 189 parking spaces and 13 units with private attached garages, as well as street-level retail space. The project will follow best practices of mixed-use design to keep the streets and sidewalks of downtown alive.

Within a three-block radius of Mercer Music at Capricorn are important cultural sites that relate to Macon’s music heritage. The Tubman Museum, the largest museum in the nation dedicated to educating people about the art, history and culture of African-Americans, is two blocks away and is planning a major new exhibit on Macon’s R&B heritage. The Douglass Theatre, opened in the early 20th century as the premier movie theatre and vaudeville hall open to African-American citizens in the city, is three blocks away. Musical stars such as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Otis Redding and James Brown lled The Douglass during its heyday. Grant’s Lounge, the original home of Southern Rock, is three blocks from Capricorn and in the 1970s hosted all the Capricorn recording artists for jam sessions. It still serves as a live music venue for legends and up-and-coming artists. Many other music heritage sites that draw tourists from around the world are within easy walking distance from Capricorn.

Impact on the Future of Music

From the initial vision of a music incubation space, a more ambitious mission of putting the old Capricorn studio back into service as a fully functioning recording studio has emerged. Our idea is largely informed by other legendary independent Southern recording studios, specifically Sun Studio in Memphis, FAME Studio and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and RCA Studio A in Nashville. Visits to the recently restored RCA Studio A in Nashville and the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, as well as discussions with music preservationists/industry insiders, helped us shape the vision for Mercer Music at Capricorn.

We believe the restoration of Capricorn can help advance a music scene in the place where music legends like Little Richard, Otis Redding and the Allman Brothers Band once walked.

Building Description

To encourage the overall development of musicians and local bands, as well as spur the formation of new bands and ensembles, Mercer Music at Capricorn will provide a new multi-purpose venue in downtown Macon that will serve as practice or performance space for local bands, house offices or small suites where musicians can rehearse or give private lessons, offer recording studio capabilities and provide a common space where larger groups can gather for educational topics focused on musicianship or the music business.

Small studio or practice rooms within the facility will be rented at a minimal rate to local bands and musicians. The larger practice or performance space can be rented to community groups and individuals for conferences, meetings, training seminars, concerts, weddings and other special events.

Through digital, visual and audio storytelling, the interpretive component of Mercer Music at Capricorn will better inform and engage the Macon community and attract visitors from around the world. The music that was made at Capricorn, and the music that will be made at Capricorn in the future, showcase Macon’s artistic talent. An important element of Capricorn’s history is its pioneering work in bridging racial divides. That story will be told as part of the interpretive exhibits and the intention is to create conversations about how our community can once again use music to promote greater understanding and cooperation. The interpretive component also supports the revitalization of downtown Macon. Cultural tourism is a growing economic development opportunity in Macon and Mercer Music at Capricorn will be a significant contributor to that growth, along with other important cultural assets like the Tubman Museum, Douglass Theatre and the Big House Museum.

1st Floor

2nd Floor