Under Lock & Key: Old, Old Jail’s Key Club

Ground has been moving at a fast pace at our Old, Old Jail project–and everyone is taking notice! At the Heritage Foundation, we’re getting more and more excited as the days pass… which is why we’re rolling out a new initiative called The Key Club!

Similar to when we sold seats during The Franklin Theatre’s renovation, the organization is providing replicas of a 1940s jail key for those who donate $1,000 to the future “Big House For Historic Preservation.”

In addition to receiving a numbered, one-of-a-kind key–designed by Foundation member Brian Laster–a sign will also be placed at the Old, Old Jail to recognize the Key Club donors.

The $1,000 gift may be paid in installments over two years. To purchase a key and support the Old, Old Jail rehabilitation, call Executive Director Mary Pearce at 615-591-8500 ext. 15 or email Linda Childs here.

When restored, the ca. 1941 Old, Old Jail will act as the Heritage Foundation’s first permanent home and serve as a resource to the community. To learn how, visit the Old, Old Jail webpage here.

Key Club

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?

News

HERITAGE FOUNDATION TO RESURRECT HISTORIC PROPERTY

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 Foundation Plots Objectives For Year; Reflects On 2013

Old Jail by Ben Johnson copy (1).jpgLast month, Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County board and staff members gathered to reflect on the year’s progress and to establish goals for 2014.

The workshop, held at Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant in Maury County, yielded a list of objectives for the organization that will shape the Foundation’s work in the coming year—one of which includes a renewed focus on a Harpeth Riverwalk installation in Historic Downtown Franklin. The group used their time in Columbia to study that city’s new downtown riverwalk, meeting with the city engineer who has spearheaded the project’s construction since 2010.

“This was a really valuable and very productive retreat, one where we were able to celebrate accomplishments and set goals for the new year,” said Mary Pearce, the Heritage Foundation’s executive director. “Facilitating an expanded riverwalk program and building a strong partnership with likeminded organizations is a top aim, and it’s something that’s been discussed in Franklin for years. We plan to lead a renewed focus on it in 2014.”

Pearce says that the Foundation has already had informal conversations with the Harpeth River Watershed Association and Franklin Tomorrow.

The Heritage Foundation—often in conjunction with its division, the Downtown Franklin Association—produces several festivals each year that support the organization’s mission. Pearce says the executive committee routinely evaluates all special events to confirm that each is truly mission-based and generating sustainable revenue.

Based on year-over-year trends, the board also discussed setting up a stronger volunteer leadership and committee system to assist staff in producing the award-winning festivals.

“We’ve continued to grow so much, and for that we are thankful. Between the Franklin Theatre, and our special events and festivals, the Foundation entertained almost a million people in 2012,” Pearce said. “We are always working to inspire the most amazing signature events possible.”

In early 2014, the Foundation will begin building teams for festival and fundraisers. Individuals interested in serving on those teams should email info@historicfranklin.com or call its office at 615-591-8500.

Perhaps the most significant project for the new year was set in motion this summer: finding a permanent home for the non-profit. With the help of FirstBank and the City of Franklin, the Foundation completed the purchase of Franklin’s ca. 1941 Art Deco-style “Old, Old Jail” building on Bridge Street—saving another endangered iconic building in Williamson County. The Foundation expects to invest approximately $1.7 million restoring the building to serve as their headquarters, and as a public resource for those interested in historic preservation.

The “Big House For Historic Preservation” 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. Pearce says the Foundation helps home and building owners with everything from National Register of Historic Places nominations and the Heritage Classroom program to becoming a part of Franklin’s Main Street program.

The accomplishment follows the transformative Franklin Theatre project and is an indicator of the organization’s strength and commitment to its mission.

“Over the course of 45 years, with the support of the community and the hard work of a dedicated staff and countless volunteers, the Heritage Foundation has helped drive a renaissance in Franklin,” said Cyril Stewart, Heritage Foundation board president. “What used to be a best-kept secret with empty stores and tremendous potential has now become a nationally celebrated destination for heritage tourism, and one of the best places to live in the country. The Foundation is proud of its past, present and future leadership role in Franklin’s progress.

“As we approach our first 50 years of service, our challenge now is to envision what challenges, opportunities and accomplishments the next 50 years will see.”

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 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.

 Old Jail by Ben Johnson copy (1).jpg