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Historic Building To Be Renovated
August 15, 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.

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.

The firm is in the process of designing the renovation plans, and will customize floor plans for confirmed tenants. Construction will begin in the fall, with an estimated completion date of spring 2008.

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