Almost a year ago, while I was walking and taking photographs on Main Street, I had a chance meeting with an energetic young man named, Zack Poll. Click Here: for a previous blog post about Zack. Zack was standing with friends in front of his South Main building that he is renovating. Once a drug store, there is a large space to renovate, the purpose evolving in his imagination. This chance meeting has lead to friendship. I’m proud of this ‘roll up his sleeves’ electrician, among other talents. Don’t bother to tell him he can’t do something. Having planted his flag on Main street, he is an advocate for preservation, restoration, and repurposing. He is doing his own work but has two sidekicks that are amazing too.
“My dad retired last year and he plays a critical part in helping. A project may start out as a headache to him, but in looking back, he recognizes the fruit of the efforts and the quality work that will last a hundred years. My mom comes to help outside of her part-time office working hours. I have coated over 1000 sq.ft. of a wall with stucco on the rooftop and she was pivotal in that project handing tools and keeping the new roof coverings clean from wet cement.” When possible, Zack and his mother put on some music and stay in a well-planned grove.
Zack tells me that the red brick walls had severe deterioration from the water entering the porous brick over the years. It freezes in the winter and shears off large pieces in the same way potholes are formed on the roads. Zack’s method allows the brick to remain exposed and the silhouette of the brick shows through the thin stucco surface. If not for this they would be completely covered by rolled roofing and sheet metal, which is common practice in covering a wall. Zack is getting requests for work on other people’s walls. You know where that money will go; into his own renovations.
When you drive down Main Street and see the work going on, you now know some of the nitty-gritty that goes on to preserve and restore a Main Street commercial building. In the next photos, you will see where Zack, in removing extra materials, has exposed the original stepping of the parapet wall. The paint is to be determined. It is looking good from the street. This parapet wall is part of the yellow facade below.
PS: Zack is the man on the bicycle. On breaks, he checks on how things are progressing downtown. Despite the virus’ impact, he sees good things happening. A Rocky Mount boy, he is another Repairer of the Breach, that will be known by his preservation deeds. To reach him: 252-452-1335
PPS: The post is dedicated to Zack, his mom and dad, and to everyone working hard in the historic Rocky Mount downtown. SFH