The Beauty of Art In The Preservation of Rocky Mount Mills

A sheet of glass that allows you to see a magical staircase beyond

The first time I went to Rocky Mount Mills I met Eddie Belk, a man with a gleam in his eye. I looked the word, gleam, up and found one of the definitions that suited Eddie to a tee: a facial expression that denotes happiness, amusement, or knowledge of a secret. This expression was about Rocky Mount Mills. Eddie is an Architect/Engineer: G. Edwin Belk Architects. (At that time David Cera was the project architect) Eddie is an architect with a passion for preservation, restoration, and repurposing as evidenced throughout the mill. I’m sorry my iPhone camera can’t do justice to the art and beauty that has been recreated. 

Rocky Mount Mills began the process of redevelopment in 2014 when Capitol Broadcasting Company purchased roughly 300,000 square feet of mill factory buildings. The mill itself has been turned into lofts, office, and event space. The approximately 100 historical homes in the mills’ village have been updated and are available to rent. In 2019, the River and Twine hotel opened on the campus, a collection of 20 boutique tiny house hotels. The next phase of development is Goat Island on the Tar River, which will offer public access to hiking trails, sandy beaches, and paddling sports. 

Eddie Belk did know a secret and now we are the beneficiaries of this happy place. “Architecture is a fine art, a social art, placing buildings in the context of the politics, the economics, and the cultural forces that shape them.”                                                                 – Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune Architecture  Critic

Stair treds glowing with the warmth of this beautiful wood
The Telegram Offices
Miles of the refurbished original floors
A glance down a hall with offices
Sunlight through the windows felt like a particular moment of beauty meant for me. I want to share this with you
A kiss can take your breath away and a pause at the tops of these stepss can too
An original brace surrounded by sheet rock-Don’t miss the ceiling
The brace up close – I placed my hand on it to honor the past and marval that it is now part of the future

You know me well enough to know that I expect to find good things and therefore, I do. Meet Ryan Boone, Commercial 1 Construction. Look at the plans on the floor for Prime Smokehouse.  It’s underway and I got a peek in the door where the kitchen will be. Along with Ryan there was Dexter Park, Project Mgr. Just clone these two extroverted, happy, friendly guys and the world will be better for it. They love what they are doing, and the place where they are creating a new space.  Seems to me Ryan and Dexter are cut out of the same architecture world as Eddie Belk; they show their happiness, amusement, and have knowledge of a secret that is coming true soon.

                    Commercial 1 Construction – 919-977-4570 –   www,c1cnc.com

2 thoughts on “The Beauty of Art In The Preservation of Rocky Mount Mills

  1. “We require from buildings two kinds of goodness: first, the doing their practical duty well: then that they be graceful and pleasing in doing it.” – John Ruskin

    It seems Capitol Broadcasting has done just that.

    Now, Rocky Mount take on Main Street and do it as practical, graceful and pleasing as Capitol Broadcasting has.

    Like

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