Historic Preservation Exhibit on Display at the Old, Old Jail in Franklin, TN


This new exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 will open at 112 Bridge Street on Tuesday, February 7th from 3-6pm and will be open to the public again on Tuesday, February 21st from 3-6pm. The exhibition is the work of the Albert Gore Research Center in cooperation with the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) public history program graduate students and faculty to curate a travelling exhibit celebrating the passing of the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act.

The passage of this act launched a national interest in saving America’s historic places for future generations.   It also raised interest in historic preservation nationwide and state and local groups with a mission to save historic places were formed. Here in Franklin, local citizens responded by forming the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County in 1967.

This exhibit features the preservation of Carnton Plantation, the founding of the Heritage Foundation and the preservation of the Old, Old Jail and is free to the public.

For the past year, the Albert Gore Research Center has been working with MTSU’s public history program graduate students and faculty to curate a travelling exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966. The exhibit The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966: Commemorating 50 years of Preserving Tennessee’s Cultural Heritage consists of five panels that focus on the national, state, regional, and local impact of the NHPA and preservation efforts since the passing of the act.

Mary Pearce, Heritage Foundation Executive Director, states “We’re proud that the Old, Old Jail has been selected as a location to feature this exhibit which was just at the Brownsville Heritage Center. The timing is perfect to celebrate the passing of the NHPA as we begin the 50th year of the Heritage Foundation’s efforts to preserve our historic places and culture.”


Support for this exhibit was made possible by the Albert Gore Research Center, Humanities Tennessee, Center for Historic Preservation and MTSU Public History. For more information or to schedule a special group tour, contact Linda Childs at 615-591-8500, ext. 116.


2017 Annual Preservation Awards

The Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County is now accepting nominations for its 49th Annual Preservation Awards, which serve to celebrate outstanding historic preservation projects in Franklin and Williamson County.

The award categories recognize the vision of those who help the Foundation protect and preserve historic structures.  They include both residential and commercial rehabilitation’s, as well as new construction projects that complement the historic character of the community.

Winners are announced each May at the non-profit’s yearly member meeting, which falls during National Historic Preservation Month. The 2016 award was suspended in order to celebrate the completion and opening of the Old, Old Jail which was restored by the Heritage Foundation for its headquarters. President Julian Bibb, said “last year the board was excited to celebrate this exciting adaptive reuse which is a forever home for the Heritage Foundation”.

The 2015 honorees included infill projects, historic residential, historic commercial, and community enhancement with the overall winner being the 5 Points Post Office rehabilitated by Firstbank.

Properties may be nominated by outside parties, or submitted by owners.  To receive an application, contact Linda Childs at the Heritage Foundation:

615-591-8500 ext. 116 or lchilds@historicfranklin.com

The application can be downloaded here: 2017 Preservation Awards Application.

The deadline to apply is April 7, 2017.

2015 preservation winner
2015 Winner- FirstBank inside the 5 Points Post Office


The Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County is a non-profit 501©3 organization whose mission is to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation. For more information, visit www.historicfranklin.com.

Downtown Franklin to Be Transformed for 31st Annual Dickens of a Christmas Celebration

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Step back in time with the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County when Dickens of a Christmas returns to Franklin’s Main Street December 12-13, 2015.

Sponsored this year by Nissan, the 31st annual free street festival will recreate the time of Charles Dickens using historic downtown Franklin’s Victorian architecture as the backdrop.  Some 200 musicians, dancers and characters will fill the streets, including several from Charles Dickens’s stories.  Expect to see and interact with the nefarious Fagin from Oliver Twist; Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim Cratchit with his parents from A Christmas Carol; and of course, a Victorian Father and Mother Christmas with treats for children.

“Dickens of a Christmas is the perfect event for our historic Main Street,” said Mary Pearce, executive director of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County.  “Downtown Franklin always exudes its own special magic, and yet this event adds an extra bit of sparkle.  It dovetails perfectly with our preserved Victorian architecture and our commitment to saving and showcasing our historical treasures. As more attention is turned toward downtown Franklin in both the local and national press, we encourage festival goers to dress in Victorian costume and to add to the ambiance as they stroll the streets.  Adding even a hat and scarf to modern attire helps set the scene and get everyone in the holiday mood.”

This year’s event will reprise a crowd favorite from last year: it WILL snow at Dickens of a Christmas!  Come decked out in holiday style to capture that perfect family picture.

New this year will be the Lucky Scruff Wintery Whisker Revue, a competition among hirsute gentlemen for the finest facial hair.  Those taking advantage of No Shave November will want to hang on to their whiskers until the Sunday afternoon competition on the stage at the Public Square. Winners will take home fabulous prizes courtesy of Lucky Scruff, a new store at The Factory specializing in accessories for the bearded gentleman, and all entrants will receive gift cards. The judging will take place at 3pm. To enter this contest, visit the Dickens event page at HistoricFranklin.com.

Favorite Victorian-era activities will return, including sugar plums and roasted chestnuts being sold on the street. Other food vendors will offer heartier old English fare.  A variety of musical and dance performances will take place both on the street and on the stage at City Hall.  Horse-drawn carriage rides, a petting zoo for children, live artisan demonstrations, and more than 70 vendors offering holiday arts and crafts will line Main Street from Second to Fifth Avenues.  Each day will conclude with a town sing of classic Christmas carols.  Saturday’s town sing will take place in front of the stage on the Public Square; Sunday’s town sing will be conducted inside the Historic Presbyterian Church at Five Points.

Dickens of a Christmas will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 12, and from 1 1 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 13.  The event is free and open to the public; some attractions will involve a small fee.  More information and a schedule of events will be available at www.historicfranklin.com.

Producing Dickens of a Christmas 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.