Rocky Mount is experiencing more investment in its historic landmarks than ever before while preserving its charm and character. Downtown Rocky Mount is the very enjoyable Central, Historic, Artful Rocky Mount. Downtown is anchored by the Imperial Centre of the Arts and Sciences and the Historic Train Station.
The People’s Bank Building has been restored as first-class commercial office space. The recent streetscape project along Main Street and the Douglas Block renovation have helped to reawaken the beauty of Downtown and increase activity.
Rocky Mount Mills and the Mill Village are also undergoing significant renovations as Capital Broadcasting Company – the pioneers of American Tobacco, the international business and entertainment hub in Durham – have begun to develop the property.
Rocky Mount Downtown Preservation
Downtown Rocky Mount is the largest urban core in the two counties it overspreads. Once the very active commercial center of the region, it is now underutilized and fairly quiet on the surface, but the rumblings of the trains moving down Main Street are blending with the sounds of hammers and saws as leaders from the public and private sectors are uniting to again transform Downtown Rocky Mount into a contemporary attraction.
Peoples Bank Building
Built in 1918, this building housed the National Bank of Rocky Mount. In the early 1930’s, it reopened as the Peoples Bank and Trust Company with upper stories of the building housing various professional offices. Today, the Self-Help Credit Union and additional businesses occupy the office space.
Rocky Mount Mills Village Historic District
The Rocky Mount Brewmill is a multifaceted brewery incubator whose goal is to facilitate the growth of the craft brewing industry at every level. The Brewmill will cover all elements of brewing from start to finish: offering a brewery education degree program; providing spaces for small- and medium-sized breweries to co-locate and share laboratory, kegging, bottling, and canning facilities; and office space for brewery support services, such as legal, graphic design, marketing and PR firms, all anchored by a unique production space for a regional craft brewer.
All of these facilities will be co-located on an 80-acre campus that was previously home to the oldest continuously operating cotton mill in the Southeast. Originally built in 1817, Rocky Mount Mills closed its doors in 1996, only to be revived in 2015 as the destination location for the brewing industry in North Carolina. The campus, located on the falls of the Tar River, includes 350,000 square feet of real estate in the historic mill, existing historic mill houses for workers at the Brewmill, and 1.3 megawatts of hydroelectric power all located less than a mile from Hwy 64 and 5 miles from I-95.
Rocky Mount Mills was part of the original town of Rocky Mount, NC, and many of the original homes on Falls Road, River Drive, Peachtree, Spring, Elm and Carr streets of this cotton mill village remain. Built between 1835 and 1948, the village functioned as the residential area for mill employees and their families. The Brewmill is renovating these beautiful historic homes that will be available for rent.
Located at 100 Coast Line Street, the original Romanesque building was constructed in 1903 with two stories added by 1916. Today the building houses The Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce and an Amtrak ticket office on the ground floor. Several refurbished train cars are on public display just outside the transportation center.
The historic Main Street is the commercial hub of Downtown Rocky Mount. Like many other towns, the city center was built around the train tracks, and you can still see the functional railway running right down Main Street today.
The $6.5 million Downtown Streetscape Project has resulted in a wide array of street improvements. The streetscape project included the addition of street trees, benches, bike racks, trash receptacles, widened sidewalks, decorative pedestrian level lighting, the conversion of some streets to two-way operation to improve traffic flow and access to parking, and changes to the infrastructure such as underground utility upgrades and reconstruction of the storm drainage system.
The historic Douglas Block is named for Dr. Junious Douglas, an African-American pharmacist, and was the center for African-American culture during the segregation period. The Douglas Block was home to shops, restaurants, entertainment centers, and medical services owned and operated by African-Americans. The history of this block, along with the history of all our blocks, is important to Rocky Mount and has encouraged the spectacular renovation of the area.