A Light Shines Within The Abandoned Bungalows of Rocky Mount

Tuesday afternoon, wanting to finish David Habersham’s book, The Powers That Be, I turned on my Kindle and snuggled back in bed. Between falling asleep and reading, it grew dark outside and there were no lights turned on in the ‘cottage for two’ either. From the interior of the house, a small light came from my Kindle screen. (Music in the back ground) this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.

I got interested in the metaphor my Kindle screen light provided. Readers of Main Street know of my passion for Rocky Mount’s shot gun houses and bungalows. I have learned a great deal more about Bungalow architecture. I’ve mention the program, Restoration. Preservationist Brett Waterman transforms historic homes with fascinating stories. He focuses on homes with tons of character hiding beneath neglect and bad renovations, restoring their former glory. Though filmed in California, the Craftsman Bungalows are featured. As Brett takes them apart and restores them to their original state, I am sitting on the front row of a fascinating Restoration class. If not careful, I will talk more than I already do about the Bungalows that must be saved. I’m going to continue to write about them, AND give you information that will heighten your advocacy for them.

Here is some edited info I found in an article by Bart Bjorneberg, Bernacki & Associates, Inc. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (1975) defines restoration as, “a bringing back to a former position or condition. The object, materials and method of construction, historical importance, direct the work to be done.

Preservation involves keeping an object from destruction and seeing to it that the object is not irredeemably altered or changed.

Preservation dictates that in order to retain the maximum amount of building fabric, repairs must be done with minimal or no changes to the original building fabric and in like materials, and if possible using the same methods as first created.

In my imagination there is a light shining within the neglected, boarded Bungalow homes in Rocky Mount. Imagine a focused effort to restore them. Study this photo to train your eye to SEE what I SEE -a jewel like this. I ask that each Ward take an inventory of their bungalows. How many? Empty? Lived in? From the curb how would you rate each house on a scale of 1-10. With this information, a plan based on statistics will let us move forward. Why can’t Rocky Mount be known by its love of preservation and results?

Typical types of restoration work

Removing decay
Refinishing original floors
Repairing holes and cracks
Joining or separating spaces
Making a closing or opening
Replacing or repairing roofs
Rebuilding facades
Reinforcing the foundation

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