Mr. Charles Grimes at Home in a D.J. Rose house


“No friendship is an accident. ”  O. Henry, Heart of the West

Driving slowly down the 1200 block of Sunset Avenue, I spotted a couple standing on their front porch. Hopefully they could help me. Though they knew nothing about D.J. Rose, they assured me that Mr. Grimes, living next door, was the one to ask.  Now I have a new friend. We’ve even had a date at the Prime Smokehouse where he had never been. (He loved it.)


In 2002, Mr. Charles Grimes bought what is called the Rosenbloom-Feurst House that D.J. Rose built in 1922 for Jacob Rosenbloom, the man who established the large department store on Main Street, Rosenbloom-Levy Company.  Mr. Grimes says he is 88 years old, but he neither looks nor acts it. Other than rehabbing a broken hip that has taken the zip out of his step, he remains interested in a mired of things, his books, an extensive collection of National Geographic magazine, collages he makes from a stamp collection and clay African masks that he creates and sells. He spent 65 years as a professional performing actor, writer , director, and his passion, building sets. He is taking care of this wonderful home as best he can, but needs help now to do so, which weighs on his mind. I would love to get Mr. Grimes some help so this Rose home can live on.

It is an “if only” situation for me because I know nothing about finding money for historic preservation, or fixing the roof, but I’m willing to learn. Someone will need to hold the ladder! There must be folks who wouldn’t charge to put shutters back on aren’t there? If there isn’t an organization called Helping Seniors, a branch of Habitat, there should be. I’d start one, but I would need one more day in the week. Besides, Mr. Grimes needs some help with his D.J. Rose home sooner rather than later. Here is a prime example of why a D.J. Rose ‘society’ could help with the preservation of these homes. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to leave information about other Rose homes OR if you can suggest some help for Mr. Grimes. Thank you!IMG_4107IMG_4116IMG_4106


So far, no one has sent me any good news about a Rose house. I have two more on my radar, already taken some exterior photos, but need to knock on the doors before I can write more. If you love architecture, as I do, I hope you have enjoyed this series of posts on D.J. Rose. There is a wonderful PS: to this story about Mr.Grimes. After we took a trip to Nash Arts, look what has happened.

 FYI: The Nash County Arts Council is seeking African American women to audition for our February production of Ramona King’s “Steal Away,” directed by Charles Grimes. Auditions have not yet been scheduled and, by Mr. Grimes’ request, interested parties should call Shelly Gray (Nash Arts Director) at 252-459-4734.  I’ll keep you posted so you can attend one of the performances.