This Old Home

Did you know that Rocky Mount has seven recognized historic districts? Can you name all seven? I didn’t and I couldn’t until I attended a recent meeting of Preservation Rocky Mount.

(Click  http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/Patsy-Pridgen/2019/03/31/Historic-Preservation-Meeting-Provides-Positive-Experience.html if you missed my column in the Telegram.)

historic sign

Preservation Rocky Mount is a group of people interested in just what the name of their organization says, promoting historic preservation in the Rocky Mount area. Anyone can join, and I may do just that one day when I have time.

Oh, here’s the list, in alphabetical order, of Rocky Mount’s seven historic districts:

Central City, Edgemont, Falls Road, Lincoln Park, Rocky Mount Mills Village, Villa Place, and West Haven. Inspired by the meeting I attended, I’ve decided to visit all seven districts.

Today, I’ll highlight the first two I randomly picked: Edgemont and West Haven.

Well, maybe my selection wasn’t so random. The Edgemont neighborhood always brings back fond memories of spending the night with my town cousins in their house on Sycamore Street (below) before they left Rocky Mount for Texas in 1966. Funny how the house seemed bigger to me then.

the cousins house

My cousins lived in the modest section (I now realize) of this street that stretches for several blocks from Fairview Road to East Raleigh Road. Below is an imposing bungalow several blocks away on the corner of Sycamore and East Raleigh.

big house on sycamore.JPG

The Rocky Mount City website (Google Rocky Mount Historic Districts) cites Tarboro Street as being the “principal avenue” of Edgemont, so I drove down this long street a couple of times. I could see past the disrepair of many of the homes to imagine what was once a “stylish suburb” platted in 1914.

Edgemont fixer upper

With boarded windows and an overgrown yard (among, no doubt, many other problems inside), this fine old Tudor (above) has seen better days. With a big dose of urban renewal, the house, as well as others in Edgemont, could again be a showplace.

I left Edgemont, crossed the railroad tracks in downtown Rocky Mount, and headed to another historic neighborhood, West Haven. When I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, West Haven was home to many of Rocky Mount’s wealthiest citizens. It still is.

Barker big house

I love the different architectural styles in West Haven. Nothing cookie cutter about this historic subdivision. According to the Rocky Mount City website, there’s an assortment of Colonial Revival, Spanish Colonial, Dutch Colonial, Tudor Revival, minimal traditional, and ranch houses. Check out the interesting lines of the house below.

West Haven modern.JPG

Despite the large lots and grand houses on many of the streets in West Haven, there are also some smaller homes in the area. Who wouldn’t love to retire in this cute yellow ranch? Or start a family?

West Haven small house

I’ll explore two more historic districts in my next post. Stay tuned.

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