I have written three previous blogs about the Train Shed. Once I wanted to transform it into a flower market, a totally unrealistic, romantic idea. Then I saw a New York Magazine cover that was a perfect visual for reimagining the Shed, with an outdoor restaurant. Do you remember Ella Fitzgerald singing Imagination? Imagination is funny, it makes a cloudy day sunny. This is the kind of relationship I have with Main Street. I go around willy-nilly watching pieces of the revitalization puzzle fall into place and rejoice. The design for the structure and ground space are what I call ‘grown up’ and will be a recognized example of repurposing; this will be a crown jewell when completed.
Work is underway, the tin roof removed, concrete being repaired. William Manley Photographs are once again documenting the progress. Rocky Mount is beholding to William for scenes like these.
The Conceptual Plan For Falls Road Streetscape and Park Site: Rocky Mount, NC
The following information came from a Main Street blog I wrote after seeing the plans at a public meeting. The Railroad shed will be a significant addition to the revitalization of the Main Street area. The polished rendering that Kimly-Horn has for the community goes beyond my imagination. I am THRILLED with this design, the creativity and its versatility. The interesting landscaping anchors the entire scene. This vision for the preservation of the railroad shed will be an award- winning design that brings recognition to Rocky Mount’s revitalization efforts. Mark my words! It will deserve a blue ribbon for repurposing. I remembered a camp song…rise and shine and give God your glory-glory. This plan is a rise and shine happening.
Here is a photo of the Kimley-Horn’s planners that answered questions, explained the design, listened. I thought they were fantastic, both professional and happy to share their knowledge. The firm works closely (from their website) with clients to take an early and proactive approach to urban infrastructure, urban mobility, and project funding. “Our collaborative and inclusive approach to consensus building engages the public as part of the process, educates them on the issues, and invests them in the solution. And our award-winning, proven approach continues to help clients make the “ideal real.”
My enthusiasm for this project goes beyond preservation. This is not a ‘tried to and couldn’t’ offering from some doggy design company with a shaky reputation. This piece of the revitalization puzzle will be a source of pride in honoring the past, while building the future. The plan depends on city financing. The design will be done in phases.
Visit the project website: engagekh.com/fallsroad. A placeholder name, Depot Park Site, is being used now. Your suggestions for naming are welcome on the project website.
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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