Mercer University has issued a request for proposals (RFP) inviting exhibit design companies to bid on implementation of the interpretive plan for Mercer Music at Capricorn, a project that is restoring the historic Capricorn Sound Studios in downtown Macon. The aspiration for Mercer Music at Capricorn is to leverage Macon’s rich and nationally important music heritage to create Macon’s music future.
The completed complex will have a music incubator/rehearsal space for aspiring young musicians, restored and expanded recording studios, offices for arts-related non-profits such as Macon Film Festival, Bragg Jam and Macon Pops, space for small concerts, special events and educational programs through Mercer’s Townsend School of Music, a gift shop, and a two-story interpretive area that tells the story of Capricorn Records and Macon’s musical heritage through historic artifacts, static exhibits and interactive digital kiosks featuring music, video and text.
The Capricorn Sound Studio has had a number of owners since the record company went bankrupt in 1980. For more than a decade, the building sat empty and was deteriorating. In 2010, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation placed the building on its annual “Places in Peril” list. Two years later, Macon-based Peyton Anderson Foundation stepped in to rescue and stabilize the building through a grant to NewTown Macon, a non-profit organization devoted to downtown revitalization. In 2015 the building was sold to Sierra Development and Southern Pine Plantations, local developers who saw it as the centerpiece for the largest market-rate residential and commercial development to be built in downtown Macon in more than 50 years. The developers in turn donated the building to Mercer University to pursue its restoration.