Eleven local property owners opened their doors to host the Town & Country Tour of Homes, June 7-8, 2014, and more than 1,100 people turned out for the 39th annual event, which benefits the Heritage Foundation!
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin, the Foundation’s tour featured homes and buildings standing on that fateful day, and placed a special emphasis on the Civil War tales surrounding the respective properties. As a new feature, the event also included costumed re-enactors and period demostrations at many of the sites. Trained volunteers were stationed throughout the properties to relate stories of the respective homes or businesses from the perspectives of the people in the midst of the fray. Some of the sites hosted live music and refreshments, too!
The Foundation is thrilled that so many individuals turned out to support the organization and to view the community’s preservation work. We look forward to its four decade celebration in 2015! Learn more about this year’s tour here.
The Heritage Foundation commemorated nearly half a century of preservation work at its 47th Annual Meeting and Preservation Awards May 20, 2014, at the Franklin Theatre. Go here to see photos from the evening.
Each May, the non-profit organization uses the evening to recap the past year’s accomplishments and celebrate outstanding historic preservation projects.
Taking home the top honors this year were GRAY’S on Main and the Harris-McEwen Home, downtown Franklin properties that nabbed the Overall Winner awards for commercial and residential rehabilitation, respectively.
The commercial category winner has a long history on Main Street: Set in a ca. 1876 Victorian building, the Gray Drug Co. was a landmark pharmacy in downtown Franklin for nearly a century. Vacant for the better part of the past decade, the Gray’s building was nearly a victim of demolition by neglect before Andy Marshall—owner of the Puckett’s family of restaurants and GRAY’S on Main co-owner—purchased the building in 2012.
GRAY’S co-owner Michael Cole then oversaw the long construction process, maintaining or reusing many of the original details to herald the soul of the building. The three-story original layout of the building remains largely unaltered, and the GRAY’S team focused on ensuring that the restoration best utilized existing spaces. Tin ceilings, historic wall textures and finishes and structural timbers were all preserved to celebrate the building’s character.
Mel and Cheryl Thompson, owners of the overall residential award winner Harris-McEwen home, spent three years renovating the bones of the ca. 1830 building and restoring it to its original splendor, when it was stomping grounds to Mayor John McEwen of Franklin during the Civil War.
The couple took pains to bring the home back to the historic structure, removing additions that had been added after 1867 and restoring rooms to original sizes and functions. The Thompsons also duplicated the original trim, molding and flooring.
The Harris-McEwen Home is one of the highlights of the Foundation’s 39th Annual Town & Country Tour of Homes, taking place June 7-8.
“The two winners are wonderful examples of historic rehabilitation, with regards to both commercial and residential renovations,” said Mary Pearce, executive director of the Heritage Foundation. “The property owners have saved jewels of this community, and their visions have helped the Foundation protect and preserve another small piece of our heritage. This is historic preservation done the right way.”
In addition to the two grand Preservation Award prizes, the Heritage Foundation recognized 21 separate projects that demonstrate the value of preservation, including rehabilitations of residential and commercial structures, and new construction projects that complement the historic character of Williamson County.
The Town of Thompson’s Station was included in the honors for placing a conservation easement with the Land Trust of Tennessee on 1600 Thompson Station Road West. The Stutz/Douty property and Hatcher Farm also received Conservation Land Easements from the Land Trust for Tennessee.
The following additional properties received recognition in the 2014 ceremony:
- The Gooch House, owned by Ann Johnson (Award of Merit for outside of the historic overlay district, residential)
- The Dozier Home, owned by Chris Rudd and Kirstin Hobday of Thrive Homes (Award of Merit for historic overlay district, residential)
- The Historic Reynolds Bungalow, owned by Fred and Linda Reynolds (Award of Merit for outside of historic overlay district, residential)
- Ravenswood, owned by the City of Brentwood (Award of Merit for outside of historic overlay district, commercial)
- Bittersweet Primitives, owned by Debbie Miller (Award of Merit for historic overlay district, commercial)
- 113 Second Avenue North, owned by St. Philip Catholic Church (Award of Merit for historic overlay district, commercial)
- Annex/Old Garage at 109 Jennings Street, owned by David W. Garrett (Award of Merit for outside of the historic overlay district, commercial)
- Savory Spice Shop, owned by David and Hollie Rollins (Award of Merit for historic overlay district, commercial)
- 125 Third Avenue North, owned by Travis Anderson (Award of Merit for historic overlay district, commercial)
- Harlinsdale Barn, owned by the City of Franklin (Award of Merit for outside of historic overlay district, commercial)
- Jamison Station/Cottages on Old Liberty, owned by Carbine & Associates (Award of Merit for historic overlay district, residential)
- The Pitts Residence, owned by Dan and Paige Pitts (Award of Merit for outside of historic overlay district, residential)
- The River Rose, owned by Mark and April Cantrell (Award of Merit for outside of historic overlay district, residential)
- The Christensen Residence, owned by Matt and Kara Christensen (Award of Merit for outside of historic overlay district, residential)
- The Hannah Residence, owned by Alex Gregg (Award of Merit for historic overlay district, residential)
- 1254 Adams Street, owned by Chris and Melanie Barnes (Award of Merit for historic overlay district, residential)
- Monica Bright’s New Home, owned by the Hard Bargain Association (Award of Merit and Non-Profit Special Award for historic overlay district, residential)
- The Nolensville School, owned by Nolensville Historical Society (Award of Merit for outside of the historic overlay district, commercial)
For the second year in a row, Dan Brown, a certified local government coordinator with the Tennessee Historical Commission, judged the 2014 competition. To learn more about the annual meeting and its highlights, go to www.historicfranklin.com.
Since 1968, the not-for-profit Heritage Foundation’s mission has been 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.
The Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County will commemorate nearly a decade of preservation work at their 47th Annual Meeting and Preservation Awards Tuesday, May 20 at the Franklin Theatre.
Each May, the non-profit organization uses the evening to recap the past year’s accomplishments and celebrate outstanding historic preservation projects. The public is invited to the meeting at the historic venue, which will kick off with a reception at 5:30 p.m with the awards presentation following soon after at 6 p.m.
The annual event, which falls during National Historic Preservation Month, will recognize winners in seven available award categories—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.
Among the 2013 honorees were Franklin Mayor Ken Moore and his wife, Linda. The Roberts-Moore House on Third Avenue South was selected as the Overall Winner for the residential rehabilitation of the 19th century structure. Judge Dan Brown, who is also this year’s critic, called the home “a textbook example of historic rehabilitation” and “a shining example of how to do historic preservation the right way.”
2014 awards will be given in the following categories:
- Residential rehabilitation under 2,500 square feet
- Residential rehabilitation over 2,500 square feet
- Commercial rehabilitation under 2,500 square feet
- Commercial rehabilitation over 2,500 square feet
- New residential construction
- New commercial/institutional construction
- Land conservation
Properties were nominated by outside parties, or submitted by owners.
The Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County is a non-profit 501(c)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.
A downtown Franklin couple who has been involved in the preservation of a number of National Register homes has been named chairs of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County’s 39th Annual Town & Country Tour of Homes, to be held June 7th and 8th.
“We share time between the mountains of North Carolina and our home on West Main Street in Franklin, and we’ve always enjoyed the romance of an old house that bends and twists,” Sharon McNeely said. “We’ve developed incredible relationships as a result of our living here and working with the Heritage Foundation and wanted to support the Tour of Homes as a spotlight on the importance of historic preservation.”
The McNeelys, who have owned three properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, live in a ca. 1888 Victorian home in Franklin’s Hincheyville Historic District that has been featured on the tour in the past. As one of the Heritage Foundation’s earliest preservation success stories, that house was moved to the current site in the late 1970s. The McNeelys are currently working with the Foundation to relocate the “Cotton Gin” house from the site of the new Carter’s Hill Battlefield Park on Columbia Avenue.
In 2005, they bought their home in downtown Franklin and became seasonal residents. They’re often seen walking around Hincheyville with their rescued greyhound, Keith, and both are avid equestrians.
“Franklin has been a special place to me for a long time, as I grew up coming here because of the horses,” Sharon said. “When I introduced John to downtown Franklin, we both decided it was time to put down roots here. We’ve been welcomed with open arms and always look forward to coming back home.”
Now in its 39th year, the Town & Country Tour of Homes invites the public inside historic homes, buildings and notable examples of sensitive infill within historic districts. This year’s event features 11 properties with a focus on antebellum structures, recognizing the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Franklin.
Pre-1864 locations include the Harris-McEwen House (ca. 1832); The Eaton House (ca. 1816); The Old Williamson County Courthouse (ca. 1858); Landmark Booksellers (ca. 1808); The Saunders-Marshall-Wright Gardens (ca. 1805); The Masonic Lodge (ca. 1823-1826); The Harrison House (ca. 1810-1826); Laurel Hill (ca. 1854) and Rest Haven Cemetery (est. 1855). Other locations include The Roberts-Moore House (ca. 1898) and The Belle House, built in 2014 in Hincheyville by Thrive Homes. Living history presentations will enhance the experience at a number of sites.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door, and are good for the weekend of June 7th and 8th. Bob Parks Realty, LLC is the presenting sponsor. To learn more about the Town & Country Tour of Homes or to purchase tickets, please call the Heritage Foundation at (615) 591-8500, x18 or go here.
Since 1967, the not-for-profit Heritage Foundation’s mission has been 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.