Preservation – Rocky Mount’s Historic Downtown Part 2 – People’s Bank

mainst40s-1Saturday: The rain slashes the windows, all color drained from the day. Hurricane Matthew has mustered enough strength to hurl a downpour upon us. In writing about People’s Bank, part of the Preservation Rocky Mount tour last Sunday, a black and white photograph seems appropriate to begin with. I invite you to sit with this photo and indulge in some remembering and dreaming. I can imagine myself on the backseat of this car, listening to my parents sing along with Sinatra on the radio, (Click Here) Sunny Side of the Street...grab your coat and get your hat, leave your worries on the doorstep, life is oh so sweet, on the sunny side of the street. Life was vibrant and bustling in the days this photo was taken; a downtown filled with commerce, and prosperity.

The People’s Bank Building remains an architectural gem and figures prominently in the revitalization of the area. Perhaps I should abandon my idea of trying to talk John Brooks and his son, Charles Phillip Brooks into turning the Masonic Building into a boutique hotel that includes an artist in residence exhibiting his work. The Bank Building, an architectural delight would be a beautiful hotel too. It is complete with its own ghost sign I might add. (Click Here ) Remember the posts on ghost signs?


The Peoples Bank building was built by D. J. Rose and designed by Milburn & Heister in 1918. Renovated in 2006, it is first-class commercial office space. Five stories tall, it includes a mezzanine overlooking the dramatic two-story lobby. Located in Rocky Mount’s historic central business district, the building is located within walking distance of restaurants, stores, services, and government buildings, those in place, and those that are coming. After standing in the lobby of this gorgeous space, I now know that the D.J. Rose ‘Society’  must include not only the residential properties, but the commercial buildings as well. I know you agree, with only these few unprofessional photographs to go by, that this is a special asset in Rocky Mount. Next time you drive by, click you heels and salute. (Well, you know what I mean.)

Join me next time for Preservation Part 3 – The Post Office

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Elizabeth Scott Photo
Elizabeth Scott Photo

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3 thoughts on “Preservation – Rocky Mount’s Historic Downtown Part 2 – People’s Bank

  1. I worked in that building for Peoples Bank from 1973 until it was condemned in about 1980. I have fond memories of the building and the mezzanine. I remember when it started leaking when it rained hard and the tellers had to sometimes use an umbrella over their heads to stay dry. The elevator was operated by a lady. The toilets were old with the tank high up above the bowl. You had to pull a string to make it flush. Nostalgia at it’s best! It was a beautiful building.


    1. Thank you, Glenda for adding your memories to this post and for keeping me company on Main Street. These are exciting times as more of the commercial buildings downtown are being bought and restored. Glad you shared your piece of nostalgia. Blessings in this new year, 2018.


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