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

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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.


NEWS RELEASE

Dickens of a Christmas
Historic Downtown Franklin
Saturday & Sunday, December 14-15, 2013
Dickens of a Christmas brings entertaining weekend to Historic Downtown Franklin

It’s a 29-year holiday tradition in Historic Downtown Franklin on the second weekend in December to travel back in time about 150 years to a Main Street from the time of Charles Dickens, and the tradition continues this year Dec. 14-15, 2013, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Dickens of a Christmas is a free street festival, is open to the public, and is expected to attract some 50,000 visitors over the weekend.
Presented by Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant and Alexander Automotive and produced by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County and Downtown Franklin Association, Dickens of a Christmas is a Top 20 event in the Southeast, designated by the Southeastern Tourism Society.
More than 250 volunteers participate in the event as characters from Dickens’ stories, vendors or street performers. Show up any time over the course of the weekend, and you’re sure to meet Ebenezer Scrooge, his unfortunate partner Marley (the ghost in chains), little Tiny Tim Cratchit and his family, and many more, including Father Christmas.
In addition to more than two dozen street performers, there are many scheduled performances throughout the event, including:
City Hall Stage Schedule
Saturday
10:00 a.m. – Classic Country Christmas – “Marty Crum Band”
11:00 a.m. – Southern Academy of Irish Dance
Noon – West Meade Baptist Church, Decatur, AL
1:00 p.m. – Christmas Brass Choir – “Opry Brass Band”
2:00 p.m. – Franklin High School Choral Group
3:00 p.m. – Harpeth Suzuki Strings
4:00 p.m. – Vintage Vocals

Sunday
Noon – Smooth Jazz Christmas Classics “Poinsettia”
1:00 p.m. – Harpeth Suzuki Strings
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Franklin High Choral Group
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Williamson County Youth Orchestra
4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. – The Arts Place
5:00 – Town Sing Lead by Jean Thomason & The Vintage Vocals
Five Points Schedule
Saturday
Noon to 2 p.m. – Clearview Baptist church Handbell Choir
4 p.m. – Franklin High School Chorus
Sunday
1 p.m.-3 p.m. – Clearview Baptist Church Handbell Choir
4 p.m. – Franklin High School Chorus
Fourth & Main Schedule
1:00 p.m. – Flat Creek Community Contra Dancers under the direction of Ms. Chrissy Davis Camp.
2:30 p.m. – Bell Buckle Morris Dancers under the direction of Miss Anna Claire Camp, featuring authentic Cornish sword and stick dances.
3:30 p.m. – Flat Creek Community Contra Dancers under the direction of Ms. Chrissy Davis Camp.
Other activities include:
• Horse-drawn carriage rides around the Public Square for $2 per person.
• A holiday bazaar arts & crafts area encircles Franklin’s charming Public Square.
• Dancers and street musicians on Main Street throughout the event. Violinists, hand bell choirs, harpists, carolers and even a water harmonica player all add to the entertaining street scene.
• Costumed characters from Dickens’ stories interacting with visitors on the street. Scrooge bellows his “Bah! Humbug” while the Cratchit Family parades the streets with Tiny Tim. Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future make regular appearances. Urchins under the direction of the nefarious Fagin from Dicken’s Oliver pester English Bobbies (who are actually Franklin Police Officers on duty in costume). Father and Mother Christmas delight children.
• Victorian treats abound, from authentic fish ‘n’ chips to turkey legs, roasted nuts, kettle corn, roasted corn, roasted pork, sausages and sugar plums.
• Everyone is invited to join the Town Sing starting at the Public Square at 4:30 p.m. Sunday with candles ($1 donation requested) and song sheets.
Dickens of a Christmas is free and open to the public, presented by The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association, which seeks 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.
Getting there: From Interstate 65, take Exit 65 and head west toward Franklin for three miles on Highway 96/Murfreesboro Road/Third Avenue South, which runs into the Public Square at the heart of the festival. Turn right or left at Church Street as you approach the Square to access either of the two free parking garages on Fourth Avenue South or Second Avenue South. Additional on-street free parking is available.


Dickens of a Christmas – Saturday & Sunday, December 14-15, 2013
Dickens of a Christmas brings entertaining weekend to Historic Downtown Franklin
It’s a 29-year holiday tradition in Historic Downtown Franklin on the second weekend in December to travel back in time about 150 years to a Main Street from the time of Charles Dickens, and the tradition continues this year Dec. 14-15, 2013, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Dickens of a Christmas is a free street festival, is open to the public, and is expected to attract some 50,000 visitors over the weekend.
More than 250 volunteers participate in the event as characters from Dickens’ stories, vendors or street performers. Show up any time over the course of the weekend, and you’re sure to meet Ebenezer Scrooge, his unfortunate partner Marley (the ghost in chains), little Tiny Tim Cratchit and his family, and many more, including Father Christmas.
Anyone is invited to join the fun by showing up in costume and engaging with the characters on the street, or just come as you are and enjoy a beautifully preserved Main Street with more than 70 unique shopping and dining destinations in the 15-block National Register Historic District.
Activities include:
• Horse-drawn carriage rides around the Public Square for $2 per person.
• A holiday bazaar arts & crafts area encircles Franklin’s charming Public Square.
• Dancers and street musicians on Main Street throughout the event. Violinists, hand bell choirs, harpists, carolers and even a water harmonica player all add to the entertaining street scene.
• Costumed characters from Dickens’ stories interacting with visitors on the street. Scrooge bellows his “Bah! Humbug” while the Cratchit Family parades the streets with Tiny Tim. Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future make regular appearances. Urchins under the direction of the nefarious Fagin from Dicken’s Oliver pester English Bobbies (who are actually Franklin Police Officers on duty in costume). Father and Mother Christmas delight children.
• Victorian treats abound, from authentic fish ‘n’ chips to turkey legs, roasted nuts, kettle corn, roasted corn, roasted pork, sausages and sugar plums.
• Everyone is invited to join the Town Sing starting at the Public Square at 4:30 p.m. Sunday with candles ($1 donation requested) and song sheets.
Dickens of a Christmas is free and open to the public, presented by The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association, which seeks 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.
Getting there: From Interstate 65, take Exit 65 and head west toward Franklin for three miles on Highway 96/Murfreesboro Road/Third Avenue South, which runs into the Public Square at the heart of the festival. Turn right or left at Church Street as you approach the Square to access either of the two free parking garages on Fourth Avenue South or Second Avenue South. Additional on-street free parking is available.


30th Annual Pumpkinfest
Fills Franklin’s Main Street Saturday, Oct. 26

FRANKLIN, Tenn.—Historic Downtown Franklin hosts one of the community’s favorite street festivals Saturday, Oct. 26, with the 30th annual Pumpkinfest from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on five blocks of Main Street.

Presented by Bank of America, Pumpkinfest includes stages at Five Points and the Public Square, costume contests, continous entertainment on two stages, a chili cook-off, arts and crafts and some new fall activities this year.

“Pumpkinfest is a great day to enjoy Main Street,” said Downtown Franklin Association President Bob Roethemeyer, who owns the shop Avec Moi on Main Street. “This year, downtown merchants are adding a scarecrow contest to add to the fun. You’ll see the scarecrows up around downtown Franklin in advance of the event and the public will have a chance to vote on their favorites. Fall is really a great time to enjoy America’s favorite Main Street.”

Other activities of Pumpkinfest include:
• More than 75 arts and crafts booths will feature handcrafted fall and holiday items. Booths will be set up and open from the Public Square and East Main Street to First Avenue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
• Children’s activities will include pumpkin painting, free games with small prizes offered by several local non-profits, inflatables, pony rides and a petting zoo, games and more.
• Two stages will offer continuous entertainment from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• The Franklin Tomorrow Chili Cook-off will feature 12 teams competing in the 11th annual contest. A $10 ticket includes 12 samples from local teams. The tent is at Third Avenue South, between City Hall and the Courthouse, and they’ll be serving from 11 a.m. to about 3 p.m. or as long as the chili lasts.
• Children, adults and even pets can compete in five categories during the annual costume contest on the Public Square. The categories are: pets; children, ages 0-2; 3-5; 6-11 and 12+. The entry fee is $2, and sign-up is next to the stage in front of City Hall, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is a maximum of 50 contestants in each category. Contestants must be entered and present at the stage on the Public Square by 3 p.m. to participate. Competition starts at 3 p.m. and concludes by 4 p.m.
• For some spooky fun, tours of downtown Franklin’s two historic cemeteries on North Margin Street (two blocks from Main Street) will be offered from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday evening. In “Grave Matters: Stories Behind the Stones,” costumed actors relay fascinating stories of the cemeteries’ inhabitants. Tickets are $15 for ages 14 and up, and $5 for ages 7 to 13. Tickets may be purchased at www.franklinonfoot.com, at the Heritage Foundation office at 134 Second Avenue North or at the gate the night of the event.
Here’s the stage line-up for the 30th annual Pumpkinfest:
City Hall Stage
9:50 a.m. Opening Ceremony
10:00 a.m. Southern Academy of Irish Dance
11:00 a.m. Tennessee Dance Arts Conservatory
Noon Franklin School of Performing Arts
1:00p.m. Prima Performance
2:30 p.m. Tommy Jackson’s “Rocky Top Revue”
2:00 p.m. Ann Carroll School of Dance & Columbia State
3:00 p.m. Costume Contest
4:00 p.m. Tommy Jackson “Rocky Top Revue”
5:15 p.m. Nashville’s Country Swing Allstar’s
6 p.m. Festival concludes

5 Points Stage
10 :00 a.m. Dixie Strutters
11:20 a.m. Johnny Campbell & The Bluegrass Drifters
12:30p.m. Fiddle Frenzy
1:20p.m. 2 Country 4 Nashville
2:30p.m. Annabelle’s Curse
3:45p.m. John England & the Western Swingers
5:00p.m. Diamond Hitch

Now in its 30th year, the annual fall event is produced by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association. Pumpkinfest is presented by Bank of America, the City of Franklin, Williamson Medical Center, Vanderbilt, Fox 17, Williamson A.M./The Tennessean, and Clear Channel Radio.

Pumpkinfest is a free event, except for special activities as noted. For more information please call 615-591-8500 or visit www.historicfranklin.com or www.downtownfranklintn.com.


Heritage Foundation Completes Purchase of Old, Old Jail

The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, a not-for-profit historic preservation organization, has completed the purchase of Franklin’s “Old, Old Jail” building on Bridge Street.

A unique opportunity was created when FirstBank approached the City to rehabilitate the former Post Office at Five Points, where the Heritage Foundation offices had been located for more than a decade. The Foundation’s Board of Directors was excited to learn that both the City and FirstBank understood the importance of keeping a postal service in this historic location. Everyone involved understood that this could be an opportunity to save another neglected iconic building in Franklin—the Old, Old Jail.

The ca. 1941 structure was originally the Williamson County Jail, but the City of Franklin acquired it in approximately 2005 as part of a land swap. The City sold the building to the Heritage Foundation for $25,000 which was donated by FirstBank. The Foundation expects to invest approximately $1.5 million restoring the building to serve as their headquarters, and as a public resource for those interested in historic preservation. Street Dixon Rick is serving as the architect, and Rock City Construction is the contractor.

“Our goal is to have gained the necessary regulatory approvals and to have the construction documents prepared by the end of the year. We’d like to begin the restoration project as soon as funds are raised,” said Heritage Foundation President Cyril Stewart. “The environmental studies have been conducted, and there were no significant implications for the site. Inside, our first objective is lead paint and mold abatement.”

The Old, Old Jail served Franklin and Williamson County for more than three decades. From the 1970s on, it was used at various times as a Highway Patrol outpost, an employment office, the County archives, and book storage for the school system. It fell into disrepair and has been vacant since 2008.

“Our vision is for this project to help spark the revitalization of the Bridge Street district,” said Franklin Mayor Ken Moore. “The Heritage Foundation’s track record with bringing historic treasures back to life – most recently with the Franklin Theatre – made them the perfect buyer for what was surplus property and an eyesore. This is a win-win for Franklin.”

Stewart says that this is an important milestone for the Heritage Foundation, which has rented office space in and around downtown for years.

“It’s an opportunity to own our own home, a permanent headquarters in downtown Franklin,” he said. “We’ve already begun the initial fundraising plans, and our vision is for this building to be a resource for the community, a place where anyone with a need for or an interest in historic preservation is welcome.”

In addition to the Foundation’s headquarters, it will also feature a vast archive of old photographs collected by Historian Rick Warwick, who has helped countless people learn more about their family and property histories over the years. Stewart says the Foundation helps home and building owners with everything from National Register of Historic Places nominations to Franklin’s Main Street program.

A meeting room will be available for non-profit and community use on the upper floor. Other resources for those involved in history, preservation and planning will be available to the public.

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. To learn more, visit www.historicfranklin.com.

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Heritage Ball: Design Chair Angela Calhoun Unveils Glimpses of 40th Annual Look

Sponsors, committee members and supporters of the Heritage Ball gathered at Gallery 202 in downtown Franklin on June 25 to get a sneak peak of what the upcoming Ball could look like.

Now in its 40th year, the Heritage Ball is the longest-running black tie event in Williamson County. Design Chair Angela Calhoun says she has some surprises in store for the Ruby anniversary, but talked the crowd through her inspirations and some sample table settings.

“I’m of course taking heavy cues from the traditional red of the 40th anniversary,” Calhoun said. “It’s going to be a very rich design scheme, with fabrics and flowers that are sort of over the top in terms of their luxurious feel.”

Calhoun showcased a flocked ruby damask tablecloth accented by champagne linens and china. Flower arrangements included red roses, of course, with pink lilies and hydrangeas and towering red birds of paradise.

Ball Chairs Jan and Andy Marshall welcomed the crowd and shared their excitement for the process. The Marshalls reported that fundraising and solicitations for high-end auction items are going very well.

“It’s been such a joy to work with FirstBank as our presenting sponsor and so many more who have stepped up to support the important work of the Heritage Foundation with this anniversary event,” Jan Marshall said. “We’ve been reviewing all that’s happened in historic preservation over the last 40 years in Franklin, and it underscores the critical role the Foundation plays in saving the places that matter. We’re looking forward to celebrating those wins, with an eye toward the future.”

All proceeds from the Heritage Ball support the non-profit Heritage Foundation’s mission: 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.  To learn more, visit www.historicfranklin.com.

For more information on the 40th Annual Heritage Ball, please contact Torrey Barnhill at 615-591-8500 x20, or by email at tbarnhill@historicfranklin.com.


Restoration Underway at Dozier House

The demolition underway on the old funeral home at 1009 W. Main Street has prompted questions about the future of the building.  Is the house being torn down?  What will go into that space?

1069879_597759726911262_1798244112_nThe old funeral home was originally known as the Dozier House and was finished around 1904 as a high style residence, according to Rick Warwick, historian for the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County. It was first used as a funeral home in 1936, and additions made in the 1950s were incompatible with the original structure.

“The only parts of the Dozier House that are being demolished are those 1950s additions,” said Kirk Trull, project manager with Thrive Homes, which is restoring the home. “Our goal is to bring the home back to its original grandeur and offer it for sale as a residence.  The finished single-family home will come in at just under 6,000 sq. ft. – 5,990 – and will include five bedrooms and five and a half baths.  We are working with O’More College of Design and plans call for it to be the O’More Designer Show House next April.”

Not only is Thrive Homes restoring the original home on the property, the land surrounding the Dozier House is being developed into a neighborhood of six $1 million plus homes known as Ledgelawn.  The homes will range from 3,000 to 4,500 sq. ft., and one of them will be sited beside the Dozier House and face Main Street.  The other homes will be located behind the Dozier House and face a new street that is currently under construction.  The development will include a cul-de-sac and roundabout and will save the big pecan trees on the property.

“We anticipate that this project will take about two years,” said Trull.  “We plan to have two houses under construction at a time, and may be able to accelerate that, depending on how quickly they go.”

“The project is within the Historic Zoning Overlay District and has received certificates of appropriateness for the homes being constructed,” said Mary Pearce, executive director of the Heritage Foundation.  “We are excited about the restoration of this historic residence and an appropriate infill project in a historic district.”