Thursday, November 5, 2009

2010 Places in Peril Update - Capricorn Studios

Final chapter of the Capricorn building has not been written


It’s tragic when a dream dies, particularly one so steeped in Macon history. The former Capricorn studio buiding was set to be auctioned off Tuesday on the courthouse steps to satisfy a bank loan. Alan Justice had dreamed of renovating the building and forming a not-for-profit company that would have included a working recording studio, cafe and museum.

Capricorn studios sits on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and is the site where some of the greatest music of the 1960s and ’70s was recorded. The Allman Brothers of course, but Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Atlanta Rhythm Section and many other artists recorded there.


This chapter in the building and studio’s history was not the first time a dream went unfulfilled. Gregory Jones owned the building for a while and had renovated the studio — quite an expensive proposition. He went into the venture out of his love for music, but a recording studio is a tough business, even when the walls witnessed great music being made.

It would be wonderful if the next owner has the same level of love for the building’s musical heritage as the last owners. It is being recognized today for its historical significance by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. The building made the Trust’s “Places in Peril” list and could be eligible for enhanced services from the trust. Timing, though could make that difficult.

The studio building is in an area that doesn’t look like much now, but a redevelopment group has proposed a $29 million effort and the Capricorn studio building was to be the centerpiece. That can still happen, and we hope that it does. Duane Allman’s guitar riffs still echo from its walls.

— Charles E. Richardson, for the Editorial Board

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