Harlinsdale Arena: A Dream Becoming a Reality

The vision of bringing horses back to Harlinsdale Park is one step closer to becoming reality, with the City of Franklin granting final approval to Friends of Franklin Parks to construct a multi-purpose arena on the 200-acre historic property. Pending the necessary permitting and the ongoing fundraising effort, construction is slated to begin this September!

The Park at Harlinsdale Farm, a nationally known horse breeding facility established in the 1930s just north of downtown Franklin, was purchased by the City of Franklin in 2004, placed under a permanent conservation easement in 2007, and opened to the public shortly thereafter. The new arena will accommodate various equestrian and other events that engage the public and encourage utilization of the park.

Read more about the future park and its impact here.


Old, Old Jail Committee Member Advocates For Preservation, Recognized Nationally

timpagliaraTim Pagliara was there when FirstBank first began talking with the Heritage Foundation about renovating and moving into the Five Points Post Office, the organization’s former headquarters. And he was also part of the team that helped brainstorm the non-profit’s next move, working within an advisory committee to navigate the Old, Old Jail project from conception and purchase to its current fundraising and renovation phases.

When asked why he commits his time, Tim says this a significant project because it’s a great example of what can be accomplished when the business world and preservation activists work together toward a common goal.

“It’s a win-win situation,” Tim explains. “A great example is the recent renovations on the post office. The city took something that was a gateway to the community, something that was wasting, and put it on the tax poll and turned it into something beautiful.“

Tim credits Mary Pearce, executive director of the Heritage Foundation, for getting him involved in preservation—saying it’s hard not to get caught up in her energy and vision for the future of Franklin. And as a finance person, Mary says he’s been able to provide a different perspective on how to tackle projects and project outcomes.

And Tim doesn’t just talk the talk: he’s put his money where his mouth is, backing up his advocacy with a sizable donation to the Old, Old Jail project to help revive it as the “Big House For Historic Preservation.”

Thanks to the donation, Tim receives naming rights to one of the cell, which he plans to dedicate it to Mary, complete with a plaque that reads: The only place that could contain her.

“The value in the Old, Old Jail project is it will spur more renovations like it,” Tim says. “The Old, Old Jail is in a part of town that needed a boost, and now we’ve got this project, the new Bicentennial Park and others like it.”

The businessman points to the Foundation’s mission as an important root in the community, and a vision that helps provide the quality of life that locals enjoy. He says everyone can benefit from preservation, and points to events like Pumpkinfest and Main Street Festival as examples (the latter two-day event drew 125,000 attendees to Historic Downtown Franklin).

From a financial standpoint, Tim says the Heritage Foundation is important to the community’s economic prosperity, and in turn, the community’s economy prosperity is important to the Heritage Foundation.

“It’s kind of a chicken and egg thing. We wouldn’t have the attractiveness for all these businesses to come here if it wasn’t for the charm and character of the town, and we wouldn’t have the charm and character if it wasn’t for what the Heritage Foundation has done.

“The growth in a business presence has improved the tax base and the improved quality of business has led to donations that we never would have had years ago.”

In looking to the future, Tim says there’s still a lot of work to be done. He says we need to increase the efforts of preservation to meet the growth of our community, and that Franklin has more potential to be recognized now than at any other point in our city’s history.

Preservation is a long, ongoing process that takes years and years of effort and participation from all members of the community.

“A lot of things need to come together,” says Tim. “We’re very competitive, and with the economy what it’s been in the last five and 10 years, you’ve got to be competitive. The work of preservation has been something that’s made our community unique.”

Tim is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CapWealth Advisors. He was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article where he discusses the importance of educating the public about U.S. economic policy and encourages people to be more engaged in politics in order to more effectively solve the problems affecting our communities. Learn more about him here.