Heritage Foundation Honors 23 Properties at 2014 Annual Meeting

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[pictured: Dan Brown, Andy Marshall, Jan Marshall, Mary Pearce, Cheryl Thompson, Cyril Stewart and Mel Thompson at last night’s banquet]

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.