Ribbon-cutting at a historic Austell house

Ducere CEO Markesia Akinbami, and Chairman Korey Akinbami. flanked by Austell Mayor Pro Tem Valerie Anderson and Mayor Ollie Clemons, cut the ribbon for the opening of the headquarters of DucereDucere CEO Markesia Akinbami, and Chairman Korey Akinbami. flanked by Austell Mayor Pro Tem Valerie Anderson and Mayor Ollie Clemons, cut the ribbon for the opening of the headquarters of Ducere (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

On August 2 the ribbon-cutting took place in Austell for the new headquarters of Ducere Construction Services and Ducere Investment Group. Ducere renovated a historic Austell house on Mulberry Street to serve as their place of business.

Ducere is a commercial construction firm that operates across the southeast, with offices in Florida and Georgia.

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The CEO of the company is Markesia Akinbami, and the Chairman is Korey Akinbami. They cut the ribbon during the ceremony.

Originally intended as an orphanage, this 1895 house designed by the prominent Atlanta architecture firm Bruce and Morgan is now the headquarters of Ducere Construction Services (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

Austell Mayor Ollie Clemons began the ribbon-cutting by recognizing the city officials present, including Mayor Pro Tem Valerie Anderson, Community Affairs Director Jim Graham, and Assistant Community Affairs Director Darrell Weaver,

Clemons said, “We’re very excited that Korey and Markesia are here, because they’ve become a part of this story in Austell.  We’re excited that all of you are here, and have come to celebrate this grand opening.  We don’t know what’s coming next, but we know that we have two people energetic like this, and excited about Austell … we’re excited.”

“So we’re here to partner with you guys, and help make you all successful as best we can because we know your success is our success,” he said.

Immediately prior to the cutting of the ribbon, Markesia Akinbami said, “We are so excited that both of our corporate offices (Ducere Construction Services and Ducere Investment Group) will be operating out of such a historic space, and we just want to thank everybody who came out today, all our family and friends, everybody who’s a part of our team, especially the Mayor, and Darrell (Weaver).”

“We’re just so thankful for everybody who’s out here today, and we hope that you get to stay, and enjoy the festivities that we’ll have after this,” she said.

Clawfoot bathtub preserved in the house after renovations (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

The house was originally intended as an orphanage when it was built in the 1890s.

According to Austell museum curator and local historian William Johnson, a group that included Georgia Governor William Atkinson, Atlanta Mayor Porter King and Austell Mayor Newton Asbury Morse, decided that the state needed an orphanage.

A ten-acre tract two blocks from Austell’s train station was donated by the estate of William Austell.

Despite a great deal of fanfare surrounding the orphanage, including a ceremony to set the cornerstone in 1895, the project encountered financial difficulties and the house was never used for its intended purpose. A state orphanage was later built in Macon.

The Austell house was instead put to various uses, including use as rental property in the 1930s and several years as a funeral home in the 1950s.

The cornerstone was removed and put on display by the local Masonic Lodge in the 1950s.

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