Historic Building Will Reclaim Former Glory


Rocky Mount, VA. (August 6, 2007) -- The historic N. Morris Building on South Main Street in Rocky Mount, VA, will soon return to its former glory. The 95-year-old building was recently purchased by Roanoke-based architecture and engineering firm Spectrum Design, which will renovate and restore the building using historic tax credits -- the first historic restoration project in the town to do so.

"Historic preservation helps improve the town, both aesthetically and economically," said Anne Carter Lee Gravely, president of the Historic Rocky Mount Foundation. "We can honor our past, while bringing new life to the many wonderful buildings in Rocky Mount. We couldn't be happier that Spectrum Design is renovating the N. Morris Building -- it will be a star."

Spectrum Design purchased the building from the Historic Rocky Mount Foundation, and will spend approximately $700,000 turning the nearly 9,000-square-foot, three-story building into office spaces.

The firm will restore the original brick facades, add an elevator and stairway, make safety improvements, and replace the plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems, while keeping the historically significant components intact: pressed metal ceilings, floor-to-ceiling shelves with a rolling ladder, unique woodwork, wood floors, exposed wood beam construction and brick interior walls. Once complete, the renovated office building will be leased to multiple tenants.

Originally built in 1912, the building has been the site of three businesses -- the Byrd Balm Company, N. Morris Department Store, and Kopy King printing company, and has been vacant since Kopy King closed in the mid-90s. Developer Ron Willard purchased the building and gave it to Franklin County in 2000, which donated it to the Historic Rocky Mount Foundation.

"Restoring our communities' historic structures is not only our job, but our passion," said John Garland, president of Spectrum Design. "We are thrilled to have this opportunity to impact the revitalization of Rocky Mount."

The firm is in the process of designing the renovation plans, and will customize floorplans for confirmed tenants. Construction will begin in the fall, with an estimated completion date of spring 2008. For more information, contact John Garland at 540-342-6001.

Spectrum Design specializes in the architectural and engineering design of educational, retirement, commercial, and institutional projects, as well as historical restoration and preservation. A leader in architectural and engineering design for more than 50 years, the firm operates offices in Roanoke and Marion, VA, and manages projects throughout Virginia and North Carolina.

Contact: John A. Garland, 540-342-6001, jgarland@spectrumpc.com