The Masquerade (Atlanta)
The Masquerade, January 2006
|Former names||Du Pree Manufacturing Company Excelsior Factory, Standard Excelsior Works|
|Location||695 North Ave
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
|Genre(s)||rock, metal, rockabilly, electronic|
|Built||1890 (or 1895 or 1905)|
The Masquerade is a mid-sized concert venue located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It comprises the interior and exterior grounds of a former excelsior mill on North Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. The venue has both indoor and outdoor concert space, and the live music mostly consists of alternative music styles, such as Indie rock, Metal, Punk Rock, Rockabilly, and Electronic. The Masquerade's three principal interior stages are named after the destinations of the afterlife: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell.
The building was once the Dupre Excelsior Mill (the actual name as of 1911 was "Du Pree Manufacturing Company Excelsior Factory"), and may have been built as early as 1890 by DuPre (also spelled Du Pree) Manufacturing Company. However, the mill fails to appear on Atlanta city maps in 1892 and 1899, which both show the property as vacant. The first possible reference to the mill exist in the report of the death of Hubert Neal on July 17, 1899. According to the report, his accident occurred at the Atlanta Excelsior Works (which may or may not be the same facility since at the time there were 3 excelsior factories in Atlanta). The earliest concrete confirmation of the mill seems to be three lawsuits filed against Dupre in 1907 for accidents that occurred at the facility. The mill does appear on the Sanborn-Perris Fire Insurance map of 1911 (section 250). At that time, the only road connecting it was Angier Street. It was noted to have been heated by Steam power, no lighting, and a private water supply from a well 10 feet in diameter and 40 feet deep. A watchman makes hourly rounds to seven stations.
The Post-depression era saw an expansion of the mill in the late 1930s and early 1940s. After World War II the demand for excelsior was radically reduced. The introduction of foam rubber virtually eliminated the use of excelsior as stuffing material. Even so, the secondary packing material market continued for a short time. By the 1960s, the demand for excelsior was non-existent and the mill operated more as a storage facility than active production facility. By 1977, all the major mills in the Atlanta area had shut their doors.
In 1977-1978, the mill was converted over to a pizzeria and barrio. With a Wurlitzer Organ as part of the setting, the Excelsior Mill featured everything from movies to bands to Shakespearian plays over its decade long run, the pizza and barrio house survived until 1989. The Excelsior Mill is fondly remembered by blues fans as the residence in later years of blues legend Willie "Piano Red" Perryman and an in-house pipe organ. In September 1989, It closed for a time and subsequently re-opened as The Masquerade, and has now become a well-known nightclub and concert venue.
- Insurance maps of Atlanta, Georgia, Volume 2, 1911, Sanborn-Perris Map Co. Limited, http://dlgcsm.galib.uga.edu/StyleServer/calcrgn?browser=ns&cat=sanb&wid=380&hei=400&style=sanborn/sanb.xsl&item=atlanta-fulton-ga-1911-s-250.sid
- Insurance maps of Atlanta, Georgia, 1899, Sanborn-Perris Map Co. Limited, http://dlgcsm.galib.uga.edu/StyleServer/calcrgn?browser=ns&cat=sanb&wid=700&hei=700&style=sanborn/sanb_lg.xsl&item=atlanta-fulton-ga-1899-k-000.sid
- Atlanta Constitution, 17 July 1899.
- Atlanta Constitution, 29 September 1886, “Diversified Industries”
- "Three Damage suits against one man", Atlanta Georgian and News, Apr. 19, 1907,page 2
- "The Seventh Annual Report of the Commissioner of Commerce and Labor of the State of Georgia for the Fiscal Year ending December 31, 1918," H.M. Stanley, Commissioner.http://books.google.com/books?id=h9lMAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA81&lpg=RA1-PA81&dq=%22DuPre+Manufacturing%22&source=bl&ots=RFr9E0HwNk&sig=rK7vIXJvhoNCcwZKT9EHmcUibC4&hl=en&ei=IXevTP_2KYaglAf5y4TRBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CCUQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=%22DuPre%20Manufacturing%22&f=false
- History by a Graveyard : The Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills Records, Robert C. McMath, Jr., http://www.library.gatech.edu/fulton_bag/history.html
- `Piano Red'Perryman dies of cancer at 73, The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution, July 26, 1985,Page Number: A/3
- Mill to Masquerade, New Club Unveiled, The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution, September 1, 1989, Page Number: E/1 and CLUB CELEBRATION: Masquerade's Third Anniversary Party, The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution, September 5, 1992, Page Number: L/12
- TheStoryGroup.com article
- Creative Loafing article
- Map: Coordinates:
- Insurance maps of Atlanta, Georgia, Volume 2, 1911, Sanborn-Perris Map Co. Limited
- 1892 bird's eye view map of Atlanta
- Insurance maps of Atlanta, Georgia, 1899, Sanborn-Perris Map Co. Limited
- Atlanta Constitution, 17 July 1899
- The Masquerade page on MySpace, includes list of artist who have performed at the venue
- DuPree Excelsior Mill page on Georgia Society for the Paranormal Science site