I’m on a Rocky Mount ‘high’ after spending time on ROSE STREET checking things out. Research consistantly points out that restoring one home leads to the next. People get inspired, they see that it can be done, and pride in the outcome spreads down the street.
One of the most beautiful architectural jewels in Rocky Mount is this Victorian owned by Susan Cole. I wrote on an earlier blog about this home. I even took a photograph to Sherwin Williams to get a guesstimate of how much it would cost to repaint it after seeing this beauty in a state of faded glory. If you are local, go and pay your respects by taking in the newly painted exterior. Several people have told me how beautiful the interior is, a grand staircase, an entry hall. I can easily imagine the graces of this architecture after seeing similar homes of this vintage.
This beauty sits next door to the Victorian. The owners came out to see if I was okay and told me they had restored their home. They talked with pride over their efforts and what was happening along Rose Street and in the area.
I’ve been talking and writing about Rocky Mount’s bungalows and the shotguns since I began the blog. Today’s Rose Street adventure began in the 300 block of Rose where I braked in front of a bungalow with a dempster dumpster sitting at the curb, signaling that work was at hand. Not only there but other bungalows on down the street have been or are being renovated. I talked with several of the owners over the fence who have straw-bossed these wonderful renovations. Rightfully proud of their accomplishment, their stories prove once again how important it is to save these gems and the stories they hold.
The two bungalows below are owned by sisters at 314-316 Rose. The colors and charm of each home say more for the preservation of Rocky Mount’s bungalows than words can ever say. In the heat, needing a glass of sweet tea, you can imagine my reaction to the flag hanging from the blue house.
From what I saw and from those I spoke to, I am filled with hope that preserving remarkable architecture on Rose Street is spreading rapidly. Determination is spreading in the area to make things beautiful again.
When you think of Rocky Mount, I want you to repeat this mantra with me. “There is more right with us in this moment, than there is wrong.” I don’t want to hear anyone using the word gentrification as if it were a disease to be avoided at all costs. Crying gentrification is an excuse for inaction. Rose Street has paid no attention to this gentrification label as one house at a time is worked on.
The Cole house is an inspiration and a bright star on Rose Street, as are the other homes in the area that are being restored. Regardless of the reality of our troubles, Think positive. Remember, “At this moment there is more right with us than wrong.”
Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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