Spectrum Design Architecs | Engineers

N. Morris Building

Rocky Mount, Virginia

In 2007, Spectrum Design was presented with a unique opportunity to restore one of Rocky Mount, Virginia's most well-known historic buildings. The 95-year-old N. Morris building on South Main Street had been home to three businesses since 1912, but as time takes its toll on all things, the building was in need of multiple façade, electrical and mechanical improvements, having been vacant since the mid-90's. Spectrum Design purchased the building from the Rocky Mount Historical Society with the intent of renovating the building for office space. The firm's decision to utilize state and federal historic preservation tax credits was significant, making the N. Morris Building restoration effort the first historic preservation project in Rocky Mount to use historic preservation tax credits.

The $900,000 renovation features restoration of the original brick facades of the 9,000-square-foot, three-story building. To improve accessibility between floors, Spectrum Design added an elevator and additional stairway. While keeping the building's historically significant components intact, the firm oversaw complete plumbing, mechanical, and electrical system upgrades, which included the installation of high-efficiency heat pumps. The original light fixtures with scalloped cast iron end caps were restored, and Spectrum Design added additional energy efficient lamps for improved lighting. Life Safety and ADA improvements were also made throughout the building, including the addition of an exterior wheelchair lift.

Other features include very large double-hung windows, pressed metal ceilings, floor-to-ceiling shelves with a rolling ladder, decorative column and beam covers and stair components, wood floors, exposed wood beam construction, and brick interior walls. To top it all off, Spectrum Design added a rooftop patio for a charming, one-of-a-kind view of historic downtown Rocky Mount and surrounding mountains.

The building is currently available for lease to multiple office tenants. Contact John Garland at (540) 342-6001) for information.