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Photos: Beginning of the End for Atlanta's Beloved Masquerade

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The lovably scruffy music venue has hosted legends like Nirvana since 1989

"Dude, I ralphed, right there, in 1998."
Photos: Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

Here's stinging, visual proof that the end is nigh for one of Atlanta's most storied music venues.

Demolition crews have moved in and begun the transformation of the Masquerade — a mid-sized, scruffy concert park that's operated in the 19th-Century former Excelsior Mill on North Avenue since 1989 — into a $60-million project called North + Line.

Officials recently told Atlanta magazine the first step will entail the demolition of non-historic structures on the 3.3-acre site (see below), followed by stabilization, site work, and construction of a new tri-level parking deck. That'll take about a year, allowing the Masquerade to continue hosting shows in its main building while plotting where it'll head next.

The medieval-looking mill will be rechristened "Mill Marketplace," and will house restaurants and retail; on the opposite end of the site, a planned eight-story building (including three stories of parking) will house about 230 apartments and a tavern. The goal is to wrap the whole thing in the spring of 2018.

Given the area's explosive post-recession growth, and the magical allure of the adjacent Beltline, the Masquerade's fate should come as no surprise, but sentimentality is to be expected when the walls start coming down ...

Piles of rubble from the stage and outbuildings in the music park section of The Masquerade.
Piles of rubble from the stage and outbuildings in the music park section of The Masquerade.
The Masquerade's lovably scruffy ticket booths off North Avenue.
The Masquerade's lovably scruffy ticket booths off North Avenue.
Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta
Punctuated with machinery from the old Dupre Excelsior Mill, The Masquerade has been an Atlanta music staple for decades, hosting the likes of Nirvana (YouTube has the full concert) and countless others.
Crews working this week, with the Beltline's Eastside Trail and the 755 North apartment community above.
Crews working this week, with the Beltline's Eastside Trail and the 755 North apartment community above.
The remains of the green booths that once held food, beverages, and merchandise during concerts are all that remain of that section of the venue.
The remains of the green booths that once held food, beverages, and merchandise during concerts are all that remain of that section of the venue.
Dirt and rubble are all that remain of the stage used as part of The Masquerade's outdoor music park.
The stage used as part of The Masquerade's outdoor music park is rubble now.
Heavy machinery and rubble from the outbuildings in the music park.
Scaffolding and fencing have been set up around the outside of The Masquerade off North Angier Avenue. This historically protected segment will house mixed uses near the large green field of Historic Fourth Ward Park's north end.
Scaffolding and fencing have been set up around the outside of The Masquerade off North Angier Avenue. This historically protected segment will house mixed uses near the large green field of Historic Fourth Ward Park's north end.
Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta
A rendering of the mill's proposed $60 million renovation, billed as North + Line.
A rendering of the mill's proposed $60 million renovation, billed as North + Line.
Smith Dalia Architects

The Masquerade

695 North Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 (404) 577-8178 Visit Website