Old, Old Jail Committee Member Advocates For Preservation, Recognized Nationally

timpagliaraTim Pagliara was there when FirstBank first began talking with the Heritage Foundation about renovating and moving into the Five Points Post Office, the organization’s former headquarters. And he was also part of the team that helped brainstorm the non-profit’s next move, working within an advisory committee to navigate the Old, Old Jail project from conception and purchase to its current fundraising and renovation phases.

When asked why he commits his time, Tim says this a significant project because it’s a great example of what can be accomplished when the business world and preservation activists work together toward a common goal.

“It’s a win-win situation,” Tim explains. “A great example is the recent renovations on the post office. The city took something that was a gateway to the community, something that was wasting, and put it on the tax poll and turned it into something beautiful.“

Tim credits Mary Pearce, executive director of the Heritage Foundation, for getting him involved in preservation—saying it’s hard not to get caught up in her energy and vision for the future of Franklin. And as a finance person, Mary says he’s been able to provide a different perspective on how to tackle projects and project outcomes.

And Tim doesn’t just talk the talk: he’s put his money where his mouth is, backing up his advocacy with a sizable donation to the Old, Old Jail project to help revive it as the “Big House For Historic Preservation.”

Thanks to the donation, Tim receives naming rights to one of the cell, which he plans to dedicate it to Mary, complete with a plaque that reads: The only place that could contain her.

“The value in the Old, Old Jail project is it will spur more renovations like it,” Tim says. “The Old, Old Jail is in a part of town that needed a boost, and now we’ve got this project, the new Bicentennial Park and others like it.”

The businessman points to the Foundation’s mission as an important root in the community, and a vision that helps provide the quality of life that locals enjoy. He says everyone can benefit from preservation, and points to events like Pumpkinfest and Main Street Festival as examples (the latter two-day event drew 125,000 attendees to Historic Downtown Franklin).

From a financial standpoint, Tim says the Heritage Foundation is important to the community’s economic prosperity, and in turn, the community’s economy prosperity is important to the Heritage Foundation.

“It’s kind of a chicken and egg thing. We wouldn’t have the attractiveness for all these businesses to come here if it wasn’t for the charm and character of the town, and we wouldn’t have the charm and character if it wasn’t for what the Heritage Foundation has done.

“The growth in a business presence has improved the tax base and the improved quality of business has led to donations that we never would have had years ago.”

In looking to the future, Tim says there’s still a lot of work to be done. He says we need to increase the efforts of preservation to meet the growth of our community, and that Franklin has more potential to be recognized now than at any other point in our city’s history.

Preservation is a long, ongoing process that takes years and years of effort and participation from all members of the community.

“A lot of things need to come together,” says Tim. “We’re very competitive, and with the economy what it’s been in the last five and 10 years, you’ve got to be competitive. The work of preservation has been something that’s made our community unique.”

Tim is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CapWealth Advisors. He was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article where he discusses the importance of educating the public about U.S. economic policy and encourages people to be more engaged in politics in order to more effectively solve the problems affecting our communities. Learn more about him here.

Old, Old Jail

Heritage Foundation to Restore Downtown Franklin’s Old, Old Jail

Do you want to help us restore the Old, Old Jail? Email us here or call Mary Pearce at 615-591-8500 ext. 15.

Rendering by Ben Johnson
“Old, Old Jail” rendering by Ben Johnson

What is the Old, Old Jail?

One of Williamson County’s historic properties, the ca. 1941 “Old, Old Jail,” building 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.

When Did The Foundation Come Into Play? 

The Heritage Foundation completed the purchase of the building on Bridge Street in downtown Franklin in 2013.

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. Everyone involved understood that this could be an opportunity to save another neglected iconic building in Franklin—the Old, Old Jail.

The Art Deco-style 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 restore 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.

What Will It Be Called? 

The building will be called the “Big House for Historic Preservation.”

Why Should You Care?

  • Though the Foundation has served the community for nearly five decades, this will be the non-profit’s first permanent home.
  • We will be saving and restoring a piece of Franklin’s history.
  • The vision for the project is to help spark the revitalization of the Bridge Street district. The Heritage Foundation’s track record with bringing historic treasures back to life – most recently with the Franklin Theatre – make it a win-win for Franklin.
  • The building will be a resource for the community, a place where anyone with a need for or an interest in historic preservation is welcome.

How Will The Space Be Used?

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.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.

Where Can I Learn More?



Published: April 2013

Old Old Jail
Old Old Jail in 2013

The City of Franklin’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen have approved a contract for the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County to purchase the building known as the “old, old jail” on Bridge Street, with a goal of restoring it to its ca. 1941 Art Deco appearance and using it as office space.

The contract is contingent upon the findings of a Phase II environmental study to be conducted within the next 60 days. The first phase revealed some potential ground contamination bordering the property—to be expected in an area that has housed auto repair and junkyard lots for decades—but nothing insurmountable, Foundation officials said.

“This building has been at the top of downtown Franklin’s most endangered list for years, and this is one of the key reasons why the Heritage Foundation exists: we restore old buildings that others might think would be better off torn down,” said Cyril Stewart, the Foundation’s Board President. “That was certainly the case with the Franklin Theatre, but with that project under our belt we feel that we are well positioned to take this on.”

Stewart, who is a licensed architect, says he believes the building is structurally sound, and that they expect to deal with some lead paint and limited asbestos abatement as part of the environmental remediation. The opportunity was too good to pass up, he says.

“With our current home at the Historic Five Points Post Office being restored by FirstBank soon, this is a chance to save two historic treasures while creating an office space that will serve the Heritage Foundation well into the future,” Stewart explained. “And with major development plans on the horizon for the Bridge Street corridor, we believe we can be a part of the revitalization of the entire north side of downtown Franklin.”

While the Foundation will purchase the property for $25,000, that number represents a small percentage of the restoration cost. The environmental impact study alone is expected to cost $15,000, before remediation. Heritage Foundation Executive Director Mary Pearce says she expects the total project cost to be around $1.5 million.

“It’s a daunting task that will take an entire community to pull off, but this is our mission… This is an integral part what we do,” Pearce said. “Together, we’ll find a way to get it done, and it will enhance the legacy of downtown Franklin for generations to come.”

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.

Heritage Ball to Celebrate 40 Years of Preservation Success

40th Annual Heritage BallFrom Roper’s Knob to the Franklin Theatre, and a long list of historic treasures saved in between, the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County has a lot to celebrate. The 40th Annual Heritage Ball, to be held Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 at the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park in Franklin, will be a retrospective on all that has been accomplished over the course of nearly a half century.

The Foundation’s work could not be done without its members and supporters, including corporate sponsors who underwrite significant expenses for key fundraising events. FirstBank has agreed to serve again as presenting sponsor for the Heritage Ball, underscoring their commitment to the community and the Heritage Foundation’s mission.

“FirstBank is making a big investment in downtown Franklin because we believe in the value of our history, and the Heritage Foundation has been the driving force behind preserving and enhancing our historic treasures,” said Gordon Inman, FirstBank’s Chairman – Middle Tennessee. “We’re excited about the restoration of the Historic Five Points Post Office, and about working with the Heritage Foundation on other projects moving forward. The Ball is a wonderful way to celebrate 40 years of success and to raise funds toward the future, and we are delighted to be a part of it.”

Jan and Andy Marshall, long-time Williamson County residents who own and operate the very popular Puckett’s family of restaurants, have been named the 2013 Ball chairs.

Andy took the path of his father’s grocery store business, purchasing his first Piggly Wiggly store at the age of 26, and eventually owned several stores in the area. He was president of the Tennessee Grocers Association, but his love of food, music and community began to steer him in a different direction in the mid-‘90s.  In 1998, he opened Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant in Leiper’s Fork, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, the Marshalls own Puckett’s restaurants in downtown Franklin, downtown Nashville and downtown Columbia. Puckett’s Boat House in downtown Franklin opened last year, and the Marshalls are part owners in Gray’s on Main, set to open this spring on historic Franklin’s Main Street. The restaurants have won multiple awards for best barbecue, meat and three, service, music and more.

Through the first decade of Puckett’s growth, Jan served as the company’s marketing and public relations arm. Previously, she was a director of admissions at Franklin Road Academy. She continues to play a central role in the development of the Puckett’s family of restaurants. The Marshalls have been married for 26 years, and have three adult children, Claire, Emily and Cliff. Their first grandchild is due this summer.

“We’ve always been proud to be associated with the Heritage Foundation, and it is a true honor to be asked to serve as chairs of the Heritage Ball,” Jan Marshall said. “We’re looking forward to working with the team to make the 40th Anniversary event one that will be remembered another half century from now.”

Angela Calhoun is returning as design chair, having produced a number of spectacular Balls over the last several years. She says the theme will reflect the landmark anniversary, with the color scheme associated with the traditional red that accompanies a 40-year commemoration.

“We are planning some special surprises throughout the evening that I think will make this one of the most memorable events ever,” Calhoun said.  “Every year, we try to build upon and top what has been done before, so our goal is to deliver an amazing experience that will dazzle all of the senses!”

All proceeds from the Heritage Ball benefit the work of the 46-year-old Heritage Foundation, a non-profit 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 on the Ball, and to learn more about the Heritage Foundation, visit www.historicfranklin.com or call Torrey Barnhill at (615) 591-8500, Ext. 20.