From vacancy to vibrancy: How this architect is helping restore Capricorn

Bob Brown, Mercer Music at Capricorn architect

Every day, architect Bob Brown walks less than one mile from his office on Cherry Street in downtown Macon to the Mercer Music at Capricorn construction site.

“I’m a couple of blocks away, so it’s just part of my daily routine,” Brown said. “People in my office don’t even ask me where I’m going. They just look at me and go, ‘Oh, Capricorn, huh?’ “

Brown, president of BTBB Inc., is the architect for the Mercer Music at Capricorn restoration project. It’s been a labor of love that’s been in the works for several years.

“My role in the project was to first develop a program for how all the space would be used,” Brown said. “From there, I worked through different variations of design options to see how the program would fit the best within the space and develop an initial design.”

Then, “I’d have to go back to all the different groups that are using the building in all the different ways to be sure that it functioned properly, flowed properly through all the different spaces and was laid out well.”

The original Capricorn Sound Studios defined the Southern rock genre of the 1970s, birthing legends such as the Allman Brothers Band, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Charlie Daniels Band, Wet Willie, Elvin Bishop and many others.

Building on that legacy, Mercer Music at Capricorn will reopen in December as a multi-purpose, 20,000-square-foot complex including an active recording studio, music incubator, museum, and office and co-working space.

Brown said his vision for the project was “to not mess it up.”

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Jennifer Falk is director of digital communications at Mercer. She edits and writes feature stories for The Den and examines web data and analytics to drive content decisions. She also creates and supervises the creation of content for primary University web pages and e-newsletters.