Cindy Townsend Holding Silent Auction for Foundation Through Franklin Store

Town’s End General Store in downtown Franklin announced the closing of its store this week–but when one door shuts, another one opens!

Cynthia Townsend, owner of the shop, also revealed that she will open her franchise-owned business, Jamba Juice, in its location come Spring 2015. Though Town’s End General Store is closing, it is now offering discounts on items throughout the store–including display and antique items.

The sale will continue through the first week in February, and conclude with a silent auction coinciding with Franklin Art Scene on Friday, Feb. 6. The silent auction will end on Friday, Feb. 8. The proceeds from the event will benefit the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County and Williamson County CASA.

Silent auction items will include merchandise left after the store’s sale, items Cindy has saved for the auction, antique pieces from Cindy’s own collection, and more!

“We are glad to have the opportunity to give back to our community through local charitable involvement,” Cindy says.

Jamba Juice Company is a leading restaurant retailer of all-natural, specialty beverage and food offerings–which include whole fruit smoothies, fresh-squeezed juices, breakfast wraps, wellness bowls, sandwiches, flatbreads, kids’ meals and a variety of baked goods and snacks.

“Community involvement is extremely important to the Jamba brand, and we want to continue to have an impact in the area by promoting a health, active lifestyle through better options–as well as programs that support schools, youth sports and local causes.”

Town’s End General Store is located at 504 West Main Street, two doors down from Sweet CeCe’s.

To learn more about Jamba Juice, go to www.facebook.com/JambaJuiceNashville.


New York Times Writes About Franklin, Praises the Heritage Foundation

Featured Image - Main Street

On Oct. 24, 2014, The New York Times published a glowing piece on Franklin, Tenn., calling it a “small-town gem near Nashville”–and the Foundation is proud to say that the paper mentioned our organization. 

Excerpt: “Only a few years ago, the 1937 building was just another small-town movie theater that had gone out of business, become an eyesore and put a damper on entrepreneurial spirit. But the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County — founded in 1967 and a major force in historic preservation — swooped in, rallied community support, bought the building and spearheaded an $8.7 million renovation.”

Read the story in its entirety below, or on the NYT website here.

“A Small-Town Gem Near Nashville”
by Christian L. Wright

It was Sunday night at the Cork & Cow. Around 6:30, four girlfriends met at the bar to have salads and Champagne and review the weekend. There was a nice hum in the dining room, where six couples had assembled at a long table along the tufted green banquette. At least a few of them had come for the weekly special that February evening: a $20 prime rib dinner and half-price bottles of wine. My sister and I had spent the day in Nashville and just wanted a quick bite, so we popped in to share some brussels sprouts and warm bread that came in a small cast-iron skillet. Service took a while, but no one seemed to mind. This is the pace of the South.

The steakhouse is in a two-story brick building on the corner of Main Street and Fourth Avenue South in downtown Franklin, Tenn. It’s not far from the town square, which is marked by a monument to the Confederate soldier, and across from a toy store that sells little wooden pickup trucks and novelties like garlic chewing gum. In recent years, a Starbucks and an Anthropologie have moved in along this five-block stretch. But it’s like a fantasy of small-town Main Street: brick sidewalks and cobblestone crosswalks, antique street lamps alternating with trees along the curb, wood-framed storefronts housing independent businesses, some spanking new, and well-preserved, low-slung buildings from the early 1900s all in a row.

Franklin is a Southern gem hiding in the shadow of Nashville, less than 20 miles north. Some call it a suburb of Music City — and plenty of farmland has been developed into subdivisions, strip malls and office plazas — but Franklin is a world away, with a history and culture all its own. Founded in 1799 and named in honor of Ben Franklin, the town is speckled with American artifacts, from Civil War bullet holes in the side of an outbuilding at the Carter House to a red brick factory with a tall, skinny chimney that produced Magic Chef stoves until 1959.

The 16-block historic downtown and three small residential districts that surround it won National Register of Historic Places status in 1975. It’s the kind of place where names on the slanting gray gravestones in the old cemeteries match the names of today’s prominent businessmen and local track and field stars. Maybe it doesn’t possess Savannah’s sultriness or the pedigree of Charleston, but the tea is just as sweet in the rolling hills of what the people around here call Middle Tennessee.

I never would have found Franklin if it weren’t for my sister, Lizzie. She moved here in 2009 with her family when her husband was hired as the head of the middle school at Battle Ground Academy, a private day school that was established in 1889. By now, I’ve visited often enough to see the place evolve and to witness the prosperity that is spilling over from Nashville’s boom times. Big corporations like Nissan have moved into the area, once a purely agricultural economy, bringing enough people and money to support a Whole Foods and tasteful new apartment complexes. And yet the place retains its small-town character — the population is barely over 66,000 — and a lovely old horse farm sprawls atop a hill overlooking the football field at the school.

Once, while the children were in school and Lizzie had the day off work as a nurse practitioner, we went rummaging around the Second Avenue antiques district, a “district” that’s the size of a postage stamp and spread among an old flour mill and a few houses that date from the early 1900s but draws an international clientele.

Among the stalls at the Franklin Antique Mall, opened some 30 years ago, you can find everything from a circa 1940s fat-man cookie jar and good Irish lace to a copper weather vane in the shape of a rooster and a cache of tarnished flatware, some of it sterling. Floors are uneven, ceilings are low, and there is plenty of mustiness, but in the warrens it’s possible to find a treasure. There, up on a high shelf, alongside a couple of wooden buckets, sat a dusty rose pitcher.

“Could I see that, please,” I said to the woman with reading glasses on a chain. “What, darlin’?” That pink pitcher, please. She brought it down, and lo, it was an authentic Russel Wright, from the early ’60s, which I could snap up long before it ended up at the nice new shops in Hudson and Rhinebeck and other bustling towns in the Hudson Valley in New York. The price was $50; I offered $25; the woman made a phone call; sold! for $30. (Later I found one of similar vintage on eBay for a starting bid of $79.95.) My sister was a little embarrassed by my haggling. “She’s visiting from New York City,” said Lizzie to the woman, who went to look for Bubble Wrap.

The flea market gold mine is about two blocks from the main square and four blocks from the Franklin Theater, the Art Deco cinema that’s the pride of Main Street. Only a few years ago, the 1937 building was just another small-town movie theater that had gone out of business, become an eyesore and put a damper on entrepreneurial spirit. But the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County — founded in 1967 and a major force in historic preservation — swooped in, rallied community support, bought the building and spearheaded an $8.7 million renovation. “We had to reinvent it, not just save it,” said Dan Hays, the former head of the International Bluegrass Music Association in Nashville and now director of the theater. It’s now a 300-seat theater with a full bar, and it screens classic films, hosts society events and books local acts, like Sheryl Crow. “A lot of talent lives in Williamson County. We wanted to take advantage of that,” Mr. Hays said. “And it’s spurring activity on Main Street. It’s that pixie dust that changes a community.”

The change is perfectly obvious at Frothy Monkey, a branch of the original coffeehouse in Nashville. Against a backdrop of repurposed wood, exposed pipes and sustainable practices, in a converted house across from the First United Methodist Church, the late-morning crowd reveals a creative class that’s migrated into town. Small groups hatch plans over carrot muffins, a young couple sports footwear from Isabel Marant and Yohji Yamamoto, students from the local O’More College of Design get Americanos to go, and parties of one hunch over MacBooks.

“It’s the perfect life out here,” said John Hermann, the drummer from Widespread Panic who moved from New York (with a stop in Oxford, Miss.) years ago and is raising a family here. “People are friendly. ­People have time,” he said. “And everybody’s a songwriter. The way I meet a songwriter is when my furnace goes out. The Terminix guy, he’s a songwriter.”

Of course, there are some who have quit their day jobs. Plenty of the big names who play in Nashville live in Franklin, some out toward Leiper’s Fork. It’s worth taking the 15-minute drive to the village where older folks in Carhartt meet for lunch at the Country Boy Restaurant, and the original Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant sits behind a single gas pump in all its ramshackle glory.

Leiper’s Fork would be a complete time warp except for the housewares shop that sells antique dish cupboards for $1,295, the David Arms Gallery in a converted barn, and the sophisticated security systems of the secluded estates all around. A refugee from New York bought a farm there and now features its fruits at Joe Natural’s Farm Store and Cafe.

A few weeks ago, as I was heading back to have dinner with my niece and nephew in Franklin, I took a back road through countryside reminiscent of an English landscape, with cows and streams and stone walls and clouds skimming the tops of the trees. Oh beautiful, for spacious skies, as the song goes.

IF YOU GO

WHERE TO EAT

Frothy Monkey, 125 Fifth Avenue South; 615-465-6279; frothymonkey.com.

Cork & Cow, 403 Main Street; 615-538-6021; corkandcow­.com. Open for dinner.

Dotson’s Restaurant, 99 East Main Street; 615-794-2805. An old-school meat-and-three with first-rate fried chicken.

Gray’s on Main, 332 Main Street; 615-435-3603; graysonmain­.com. A gastro pub in a recently rehabbed old pharmacy that’s good for lunch and has music at night (plus a private club on the top floor).

WHERE TO STAY

In the sprawl, there are any number of chain hotels, from Marriott to Drury. For a more local flavor, try the Jefferson House, from about 1900, in the historic district, with three bedrooms and a leafy garden; from $200 per night with a two-night minimum; 615-281-0401; vrbo.com/3495690ha.

In Leiper’s Fork, set up at Brigadoon, an enchanted little house built in 1885, appointed with an assured style that might stop Ralph Lauren in his riding boots. It’s comfortable for four; weekend rate, starting Thursday, is $250 per night, plus a $125 cleaning fee; 615-281-0401; vrbo.com/337233.

WHAT TO DO

The historic downtown is compact and best seen on foot. At the visitors’ center on Fourth Avenue North, just off Main Street, pick up a map that covers the town in six walking routes, divided into themes like Historic Homes and Haunts & Headstones. (There’s also an app — and loaner iPads.) For something more bucolic, explore the trails of Harlinsdale Farm, a former Tennessee Walking Horse compound that’s now a public park.

The Brooklyn Flea has nothing on Franklin’s antiques district at Second Avenue South and South Margin Street. Haven (343 Main Street, sanctuaryofstyle­.com) sells Helmut Lang trousers and books from Assouline out of an old grocery with original wooden elevator; French’s Boots & Shoes (328 Fifth Avenue North; frenchsbootsandshoes.com) has the latest cowboy boots and secondhand Uggs. Rare Prints Gallery (420 Main Street; rareprintsgallery.com) is as much museum as retailer of old engravings.

The Civil War sites — the Carter House, Lotz House and Carnton Plantation — are eerie reminders of the Battle of Franklin in 1864, one of the bloodiest of the war. The guided tours take time, but you can get admission to all three for $30; carnton.org.

A version of this article appears in print on October 26, 2014, on page TR4 of the New York edition with the headline: A Small-Town Gem Near Nashville.


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.


Heritage Foundation’s Annual Meeting to Celebrate 47 Years of Success, Outstanding Historic Projects

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.


McNeelys Named Chairs for Tours of Home

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.

 


Main Street Festival Returns, April 26-27

The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County’s 31st Annual Main Street Festival, presented by First Tennessee, will return April 26-27, 2014 to Historic Downtown Franklin, Tenn.  The event will feature more than 200 artisans and crafters, three stages for all-day entertainment, two blocks of children’s activities and two food courts.

The free two-day weekend event will run Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the Fourth Avenue street dance continuing until 10 p.m. on Saturday night.  All activities will re-open Sunday, April 27, from noon to 6 p.m.

More than 130,000 visitors are expected to attend the weekend that’s packed with family-oriented activities, non-stop musical entertainment and international flavors provided by the 20-plus food vendors.

Artisans and crafters will be selling handmade work, including original oil and watercolor paintings, pottery, jewelry, furniture, woodworking, ornamental iron, stained glass, photography, home and garden accents, birdhouses, leatherwork and much more.

In addition to a juried arts and crafts show projected to host more than 200 entries, the festival will offer two special areas of children’s activities on Third Avenue South and Third Avenue North.

Patrons will also enjoy live entertainment throughout the two-day event at any of the three stages: the First Tennessee Stage on the Public Square; the Heritage Stage on Fourth Avenue North; and the Beer/Wine Garden Stage on Fourth Avenue South.

Three designated food areas will offer a tasty variety of everything from roasted corn on the cob and stuffed baked potatoes to Polish sausage, Greek gyros and Asian and Mexican cuisines. And don’t forget the Southern fare: barbeque, burgers and hotdogs, smoked turkey legs, funnel cakes, kettle corn and more will be offered.

A shuttle service provided by the Franklin Transit Authority will be available to transport people from the free parking lots at Harlinsdale Park on Franklin Road and at The People’s Church on Murfreesboro Road. Shuttle rides to the event are $1 for adults and 50 cents for children and seniors. Both sites will operate on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Only the Harlinsdale site will operate on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Main Street Festival is presented by First Tennessee with major sponsors Hidden Valley, The Kroger Co., Williamson Medical Center, The Grove, Patterson Company, AT&T U-Verse, Wyndham Resorts, LeafFilter and The City of Franklin. Supporting sponsors include Fox 17, Clear Channel Radio, The Tennessean/Williamson A.M., Franklin Home Page, Schroeder Chiropractic, K-9 Off-leash, Durante Home Exteriors, Summerwinds Resorts and FranklinIs.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association, and their missions, respectively: 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 Main Street Festival is located in Historic Downtown Franklin, Tenn., exit No. 65 from I-65, three miles west to the Public Square.

For more information, call 615-591-8500.


Volunteers Who Make An Impact: Pam Chandler

Pam ChandlerOdds are where you’ll find a Heritage Foundation-coordinated event, you’ll find Pam Chandler too. She’s one of the organization’s most dedicated—and valuable—volunteers, and in the past year alone has served on the Heritage Ball’s silent auction committee that raised $42,000, and helped docents learn the history of Tour of Homes sites. She’s also spearheaded a crucial Human Resources initiative within the Foundation that should be implemented by the season’s end.

When Pam first moved to Franklin, it was several years before she sold her HR and consulting company to a firm out of Ohio in 2008. Though she still consults for a few choice clients, it allowed the entrepreneur to invest her time in projects she wasn’t able to before.

“Honestly, I’ve never seen a more dedicated group of people within an organization, and that includes the staff,” she says. “When I do something, I’m going to do it 100 percent—and it’s been so encouraging to see that everyone involved here truly committed to the mission.”

A year and a half ago, Pam started talking with Foundation’s Executive Director Mary Pearce about implanting more structured internal HR procedures. After that initial conversation, Pam began developing a comprehensive employee manual with the heavy input of the staff.

That manual, which has taken more than a year and a half to complete because of its intricate process, is being presented to the Foundation’s board members this month.

“The Foundation started out small, like most non-profits, and Mary realized that the organization needed to be more proactive as it grew. That’s when I offered my expertise,” Pam says. “This is more than an employee manual, it contains other personnel issues as well. My goal is to assist and serve as the Foundation’s HR department.”

Though her time is valued and well spent, Pam says volunteering with the Foundation isn’t just a feel-good act; it’s also an opportunity to form new friendships and relationships. Take for example the annual Ball invitation party that the Foundation throws, when dozens of ladies flock to its headquarters to spend several hours catching up and stuffing envelopes.

“The volunteers here are just fun. I’ve made so many friends through the Foundation,” she says. “I now know so many people in this town, and a lot of it was directed from volunteering here.”

Pam says she would encourage those looking for volunteer opportunities to learn more about the Foundation’s mission, and look at the direct impact it makes in the community.

“Your investments are equal investments. They are rewarded, which is huge for someone volunteering time and services,” she says. “ And truthfully, there’s always a place for someone to get involved here. All you have to do it ask. It doesn’t matter your skill set or interests, there is always a need for more volunteers.

“One fabulous thing about the Foundation is that its volunteer base is such an integral part of the organization. I believe that is a strong indicator of the strength of its mission.”

To learn how to volunteer, go here.