Saturday: 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
FOLLOW the blog to be notified when posts are published.