2015 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. Awards recognize both rehabilitations of residential and commercial structures, and new construction projects that complement the historic character of Williamson County.
In 2014 the Foundation recognized 23 properties and their owners. Congratulations to the following:
2014 OVERALL WINNER – COMMERCIAL
GRAY’S on Main
Owners: Jan and Andy Marshall; Joni and Michael Cole
2014 OVERALL WINNER – RESIDENTIAL
Owners: Mel and Cheryl Thompson
Go here to learn more about each of these projects.
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)
The Heritage Foundation also reported on its work during the previous year. Accomplishments included:
- Continued Advocacy for Streetscape expansion.
- Worked with John & Sharon McNeely to relocate the Cotton Gin home.
- Moved to a new location at 134 2nd Avenue North.
- Closed on the purchase of the Old, Old Jail, hired an architect, and reached the half-way point in the fundraising for the rehabilitation of the building.
- Worked to seek preservation of Harlinsdale Farm House.
- Administered Leiper’s Fork Main Street Program until the end of 2013, and are now providing support to the village.
- Coordinated the Historic House Markers Program.
- Offered a dry stone workship, under the leadership of the Next Generation group.
- Working with and calling on other communities to support the historic Americana Music trail between Franklin and Florence, Alabama.
- Hosted groups seeking to learn about Franklin’s preservation successes and spoke to local and area groups about the benefits of historic preservation, i.e Youth Leadership Franklin, Leadership Middle Tennessee, Leadership Franklin, as well as out-of-state leadership groups.
- Brought local history programs and downtown Franklin walking tours to nearly 4,000 city, county, private and home-schooled students through the Heritage Classroom program.
- Hosted another successful Town and Country Tour of Homes.
- Coordinated Heritage Day for 20 Youth Leadership Franklin high school students, giving them a behind-the-scenes look at local history and historic preservation.
- Supported Rick Warwick as he:
- Researched the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park and Cotton Gin Park.
- Conducted walking and bus tours of Franklin for local church and senior groups.
- Advised Bethesda Elementary School fourth graders in their quest to find the burial sites of American Revolutionary War soldiers in Williamson County.
Festivals and Events
- Produced four award-winning events that brought more than 250,000 people to downtown Franklin: Main Street Brew Fest, Main Street Festival, Pumpkinfest, and Dickens of a Christmas.
- Hosted the 40th Annual Heritage Ball at the Eastern Flank Battlefield and exceeded budget goals for the event. Also focused on fresh and local food.
- Hosted a Joint Heritage Foundation Board Mixer with the DFA, DLFA, FranklinTheatre and Next Gen.
- Experienced record attendance at Three Blind Vines, produced by our Next Gen members.
- Promoted holiday lighting on Main Street.
- Increased attendance at the Small Business Saturday Event.
- Produced the Open Your Heart in Downtown Franklin shopping event.
- Hosted a Social Media Workshop for downtown merchants.
- Produced more than 35 “Faces of Franklin” profiles of downtown businesses.
- Established “Americas Favorite Main Street” as a tagline.
- Received almost 400,000 page views for Downtown Franklin, a 154% increase from last year.
- Created a monthly newsletter that goes to 6000+ people, with a 40-50% open rate.
- Added more than 5,773 followers on Twitter, now reaching 8,262 followers.
- Added more than 4,016 fans on Facebook, reaching 11,316 fans.
- Added 3,688 followers on Instagram.
- Added922 followers on Pinterest.
- Worked with the History Channel, Liberty Mutual & Mike Wolfe from American Pickers to produce a promotion piece on Historic Franklin and the Old, Old Jail.
- Earned Media Highlights:
- “Best Southern Town” – Garden & Gun Magazine
- Travel & Leisure
- “#8 “America’s Favorite Towns”
- #18 “America’s Best Town for Halloween”
- #3 Christmas Lights
- #7 “Friendliest Town in America”
- #14 “Most Romantic Town”
- Used the proceeds from Brew Fest to promote downtown businesses.
- Partnered with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Tennessee Main Street Program and the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau through grants and other resources to promote Historic Franklin.
- Marketed the Franklin Theatre and downtown festivals to the middle Tennessee community.
Through generous community support, the Franklin Theatre was reinvented in 2011 and has quickly become one of the most influential cultural assets in middle Tennessee. As a shimmering anchor on Main Street, it serves as a catalyst for creativity in the arts, business and our personal lives. In the past year it:
- Generated $3.5 million annual economic impact with more than 65,000 ticketed patrons.
- Achieved 70 percent growth in patrons from outside middle Tennessee (11.7 percent of total visitors).
- Produced charity events with area non-profits which have raised more than $1 million since reopening in 2011.
- Produced 67 stirring live music performances (not including charity concerts) for 17,547 patrons, featuring award-winning artists as diverse as The Glenn Miller Orchestra and Switchfoot to Smash Mouth and Booker T. Jones.
- Exceeded paid attendance goals for live music events (selling 92.5 percent of capacity).
- Was entrusted with 77 community, educational and corporate events (many hosted at no rental fee) for schools, students, police and fire departments, senior groups, press conferences, merchants groups, medical societies and major corporations.
- Featured 50 live theater performances with Studio Tenn, with four highly acclaimed productions: “Big River,” “My Fair Lady,” “The Hank Legacy – The Songs of Hank Williams” (World Premiere) and “Into the Woods.”
- Hosted five film premieres among 501 screenings of movies, including Oscar winners, recent releases, classic and children/family features, most at $5, for more than 26,302 patrons.
- Served as a location for multiple long form video productions and recordings with worldwide distribution and national broadcast.
- Achieved an “excellent” or “above average” music programming rating among 95.1 percent of patrons.
- Achieved an “exceeded” or “met ” expectations rating among 96.8 percent of patrons; 98.5 percent of patrons said they are extremely or highly likely to recommend events hosted at Franklin Theatre to others.