Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Annual Meeting: Winners & Economic Impact

This story was written by Emily West for the Franklin Home Page

Supporters of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County packed the lower section of the Franklin Theatre to recognize board members and landmarks that garnered historical preservation.

The Historic Five Points Post Office/First Bank became the overall winner of the foundation’s 48th annual award ceremony Tuesday evening. The structure will receive a bronze plaque on the outside of the building to credit its win.

“What they did was turn it into one of the first-class projects of Franklin,” said Dan Brown, a member of the Tennessee Historic Commission. “They did this all while keeping the use of the space.”

The bank invested $3 million into the renovation of the building, which returned the outside façade to its original look.

Julian Bibb, co-founder of Franklin’s Charge, helped announce the award ceremony along with foundation executive director Mary Pearce. The two put on the entire show, with a full presentation of how the foundation has affected the city.

Pearce explained the past year has been positive, with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin and starting the restoration project for the Old, Old Jail on Bridge Street.

Jail reconstruction, which will become the new home for the Heritage Foundation, has also received a substantial amount of funding for its effort. So far, $1.6 million has been raised with only $500,000 remaining to reach the ultimate goal.

In addition to fixing the structure, Pearce explained the space will now have a large parking lot for a lawn chair theatre and food trucks. Organizers said the project will reach completion by the end of 2015.

“We hope this is a treasure,” Pearce said.

The economic impact for the foundation’s four events – Brewfest, Main Street, Pumpkin Fest and Dickens of a Christmas – totaled out at $2,839,875 in 2014.

A saved relic, the Franklin Theatre, sold 70,000 tickets with a $3.5 million impact for Franklin.

“We all get to enjoy it,” Bibb said. “It’s a remarkable facility. What probably goes less noticed is how much other communities notice us.”

The crowd stood in the theatre as the duo on stage talked about the efforts for the Carter House Cotton Gin, which was recently unearthed in an archeological dig last week.

Bibb and Pearce recognized Donnie Cameron, who previously owned the property, for his patience in waiting for preservationist groups to purchase the land.

“This was one of the lynch pins of that success and was one those waited a long time to see,” Bibb said.

Other awards

In addition to the overall award, the foundation also awarded other locations – commercial and residential – for their efforts throughout the year.

Infill Residential

Moses Residence
Submitted by Burt & Beth Moses (Award of Merit, Infill Residential) 
1007 West Main

Hard Bargain Carol Wall’s new home
Submitted by Carolyn Wall, Brant Bousquet, & David Crane of Crane Builders (Award of Merit, Infill Residential) 
361 9th Avenue North

Historic Residential

Wells Residence
Submitted by Jan & Mary Wells (Award of Merit, Historic Residential) 
221 Lewisburg Ave.

Friesisnger Residence
Submitted by Dr. Friesinger and Michael Lee Restoration (Award of Merit, Historic Residential)
215 Fifth Avenue South

Historic Commercial

Circa Restaurant
Submitted by Jason Ritzen & Robynne Napier (Award of Merit, Historic Commercial)
1549 Thompson Station Road West

Juice Bar
Submitted by Jason Collins (Award of Merit, Historic Commercial) 
232 Fifth Avenue South

O’More College of Design’s Farrar Fleming Hall
Submitted by the O’More School of Interior Design (Award of Merit, Historic Commercial)
232 South Margin Street

Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church
Submitted by Mike Ensch, Christi Ensch, Lillian & Bo Stuart, Hugh & Janet Tharpe (Award of Merit, Historic Commercial) 
Fifth and Main Street

Historic Five Points Post Office
Submitted by FirstBank (Overall Winner)
510 Columbia Avenue

Community Enhancements

Old Natchez Trace
Submitted by Superindent Eddie Hood  & Collier Engineering  (Award of Merit, Community Enhancement)
1801 Old Natchez Trace

Cannons the Square
Submitted by Dr. Sam Gant, Sam Huffman, Sam Whitson, Pam Lewis and Mike Skinner (Award of Merit, Community Enhancement)
Main Street and Third Avenue

Special Merit

Cotton Gin House

New board members

The Heritage Foundation also voted in its new members that will now serve of the board. Outgoing members were Connie Haley, Ann Johnson, William Powell, Bob Roethemeyer and Rudy Jordan.

• Danny Anderson, Realtor, managing broker at Parks on Main.
• David Garrett, partner at Cheatham and Palermo and Garrett.
• Kay Heller, long time preservationist, owner of Rare Prints Gallery.
• Pam Lewis, CEO of PLA Media.
• Nancy Smith, entrepreneur, community volunteer, committed to brownstone project.

FirstBank, Five Points Post Office gains overall 2015 award from foundation

by Jill Cowan, jcowan@tennessean.com for the Tennessean // May 19, 2015

FirstBank - 1


Franklin preservationists applauded their neighbors Tuesday evening at an annual awards ceremony aimed at recognizing property owners who have helped keep the city’s historic feel intact.

This year, the $3 million restoration of downtown Franklin’s Five Points Post Office building took home the ceremony’s top honor.

The event at the Franklin Theatre also served as the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County’s 48th yearly membership meeting, where a slate of new board members were chosen.

Dan Brown, a local government coordinator with the Tennessee Historical Commission, judged the preservation awards contest.

He said the post office project managed to completely rehabilitate the nondescript structure while allowing the building’s original use to continue.

“It’s really rare to keep the historic function,” Brown said.

Foundation leaders also highlighted the economic benefit that they said stems from projects in the downtown area, which has been majorly revitalized over the last few decades.

Brown said that as someone who works around the state, he has seen Franklin become “one of the premier preservation communities in the United States.”

Mary Pearce, the foundation’s executive director, estimated that the slew of events and attractions the organization helps stage bring in half a million visitors each year.

According to a presentation by Pearce and foundation president Julian Bibb, more than 70,000 tickets were sold to events at the Franklin Theatre in 2014. The theatre’s high-profile historic renovation helped its annual economic impact reach about $3.5 million.

While Pearce said she expected the restoration of the city’s “old, old jail” — which the foundation will use as its new headquarters — to be complete by the end of the year, she and Bibb said they still hoped to raise $500,000 more for the project.

So far, donors have contributed $1.6 million.

Other projects that were recognized included:

The construction of an affordable home in Franklin’s Hard Bargain neighborhood. Brown said affordable housing that meets historic design guidelines is almost unheard of.

To read the rest of this article, go to The Tennessean here.

40th Annual Heritage Tour: Experience History Behind the Door (June 6-7)


Each summer, members and supporters of the Heritage Foundation open their homes and businesses as part of the Heritage Tour, showcasing the community’s dedication to protecting those resources as part of our legacy.

Now in its 40th year, the Tour will invite the public inside historic residences, commercial structures and notable examples of sensitive infill within historic districts on Saturday and Sunday, June 6th and 7th, 2015. The event acts as a fundraiser for our non-profit preservation organization, and underscores the importance of protecting the architectural and cultural heritage of Williamson County. BUY YOUR TICKET HERE!

J. Edward and Brenda Campbell, a husband-wife team of real estate brokers in Franklin, have been named as chairs for the 2015 event. They say the benefit’s theme this year is “Experience History Beyond the Door,” and will expand past personal homes into historic sites that also have rich stories to tell.

“All of these buildings are within historic environments, and hold special significance to the Foundation and its efforts,” said J. Edward. “By purchasing a ticket, participants are given a first-hand look at why the organization works so tirelessly to preserve our cultural inheritance. This tour acts as an educational vehicle for both the public and the Foundation.”

This year’s event features 10 properties, including six personal homes. Tour destinations–several of which are located in Historic Downtown Franklin, within walking distance of each other–include:

  • The Masonic Lodge-Hiram Lodge #7, circa 1823-1826, was the barracks for the Union soldiers during wartime occupation.

  • FirstBank at Five Points (ca. 1924) is a stunning example of an early commercial building that has served for decades as downtown Franklin’s post office, and recently underwent a complete renovation.

  • The Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church is a Romanesque Revival structure built in 1888 that stands as the third house of worship to be established in downtown Franklin.

  • The Hicks-Friesinger House on 5th Avenue South is a ca. 1878 home renovated in 2015.

  • The Turley-Marshall House on West Main Street is a ca. 1880 home that once resembled Italianate style and now stands as an English Tudor.

  • The Smith-Hardcastle House (ca. 1893) on Fair Street is a beautifully restored two-storey Victorian home.

  • The Ross House on Lewisburg Avenue was built in 2010 in a way that seamlessly blends old with new, and offers a breath of fresh Cape Cod air in Franklin.

  • The Breezeway at The John Herbert House (ca. 1830) on Clovercroft Road is the oldest double-pen dogtrot log house in Williamson County.

  • The Ogilvie Place-Beech Hill Farm, built in 1796 in College Grove, showcases an original log cabin with additions in an early-American style that has been “home” to six generations of Ogilvies.

  • The historic Rest Haven Cemetery on Fourth Avenue North will feature a costumed re-enactor portraying John McEwen, the Civil War-era mayor of Franklin.

The 40th Annual Heritage Tour is presented by Synergy Realty Network and Homeland Title. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door, and are good for the weekend of June 6th and 7th. Tour hours are generally 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with special hours for Rest Haven Cemetery and Historic First Presbyterian Church.

To learn more about the Tour or to purchase tickets, please go here.

Producing the Tour is just one of the many activities of The Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County. Since 1967, the non-profit group has been dedicated to protecting and preserving Williamson County’s historic, architectural and geographic resources; in short, saving the places that matter.


2015 Annual Meeting and Preservation Awards

Each May, the Heritage Foundation hosts an annual meeting and preservation awards ceremony to recap the past year’s projects and celebrate outstanding historic preservation work in Williamson County.

The 48th Annual Preservation Awards ceremony will be held on May 19, 2015 at the Franklin Theatre, and will commemorate nearly half a century of preservation work. The reception will kick off at 5:30 with light bites and beverages, with a program following soon after.

The annual event, which falls during National Historic Preservation Month, will recognize property owners whose visions have helped the Foundation protect and preserve historic structures. They include both residential and commercial rehabilitations, as well as new construction projects that complement the historic character of the community.

Plus, new board members for both the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County and the Downtown Franklin Association will be recognized. For more information on the event, call the Foundation office at 615-591-8500.


Campbells Asked to Lead 40th Annual Heritage Tour

J. Edward &  Brenda CampbellA Franklin couple known for their involvement in community and preservation efforts has been named chairs of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County’s 40th Annual Heritage Foundation Tour, to be held June 6th and 7th, 2015.

Edward and Brenda Campbell have been tapped to lead the event—a fundraiser for the non-profit that re-emphasizes the importance of protecting the architectural and cultural heritage of Williamson County.

Each summer, members and advocates of the preservation society open their personal properties, all of which encompass the community’s dedication to protecting those resources as part of our community’s legacy.

“I’m so appreciative that Franklin is a blend of people who not only look to the future to grow, but also to preserve its past,” said Brenda Campbell. “Neither of us has a problem with shouting out about how great it is, and we believe that the Heritage Foundation is a big reason why it is such a vibrant and well-preserved community.”

The Campbells have been a husband-wife team of real estate brokers in Franklin since 2004, helping clients buy and sell residential properties all over Middle Tennessee. Today they work with Synergy Realty Network and are familiar faces to many through their community involvement.

Together, the pair has served as house chairs for the Tour, volunteered at various street festivals produced by the Foundation, and as Franklin Theatre ushers. They have also been vocal proponents and active volunteers for the Franklin Art Scene since its launch. They are active members of the First Presbyterian Church in Franklin.

Separately, the duo’s contributions are likewise manifold: J. Edward has served on the board of the Williamson County Association of Realtors (WCAR) and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Housing Commission for the City of Franklin, the board of Franklin Tomorrow, the Advisory Board of the Pastoral Counselling Center of Williamson County and the Advisory Board of the Franklin Housing Authority and is a graduate of the 2013-14 class of Leadership Franklin.

Brenda, who served as a past president of both the WCAR and the Women’s Council of Realtors in Williamson County, is a graduate of the Franklin Citizen’s Government Academy and the Franklin Citizen’s Police Academy.

Since the two married a decade ago, the Campbells have committed to using their time to a wide-ranging set of local volunteer efforts.

Edward said it’s that team mentality that drives them to lend their support to different projects, and that the pair will use their professional experience to tie the architectural and historical elements together for Tour guests.

“Community involvement was always on our bucket lists, an area we wanted to be more active in,” he said. “This opportunity allows us to combine our passion for preservation and love of homes together for a greater cause.”

Now in its 40th year, the Tour invites the public inside historic homes, buildings and notable examples of sensitive infill within historic districts. Event organizer Kristy Williams says the benefit’s theme this year is Experience History Beyond the Door.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door, and are good for the weekend of June 6th and 7th. To learn more about the Tour or to purchase tickets, please go here.

Producing the Tour is just one of the many activities of The Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County. Since 1967, the non-profit group has been dedicated to protecting and preserving Williamson County’s historic, architectural and geographic resources; in short, saving the places that matter.