May 14, 2019 (FRANKLIN, Tenn.) – On Tuesday night at The Franklin Theatre, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County honored the Heritage Foundation’s three divisions, the Downtown Franklin Association, The Franklin Theatre and Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens, their accomplishments over the past year and the people who made them possible. 

“At the two-year mark of my tenure at the Heritage Foundation, I’m really proud of the growth and momentum we are experiencing,” said Heritage Foundation CEO, Bari Beasley. “We have increased our staff size, enhanced our communication and marketing efforts, grown our educational programming, executed signature events and raised millions of dollars to support our mission of saving the places that matter in Williamson County.”

Along with the annual meeting, the Heritage Foundation honored the nominees and announced the winners of the 2018-2019 Preservation Awards. The Preservation Awards are presented at the annual meeting every year and recognize citizens in the community who preserve and restore historic resources in Williamson County. Five winners were selected for their preservation efforts in Williamson County by the Foundation and judged by Blake Wintory, Ph.D., director of preservation at the Heritage Foundation and Jane-Coleman Cottone, historic preservation specialist at the Tennessee Historical Commission. 

Studio 8 Design took home two awards winning the “Preservation through Rehabilitation – Commercial” category and the “Craftsperson” awards for the 231 Public Square building. 906 Studio Architects took home the “Preservation through Rehabilitation – Residential” award for their work on the Vaughn/McCall house at 501 Murfreesboro Rd. Tina and Roger Jones won the “Preservation through Restoration” award for their property known as the Owen-Jones house in the Hincheyville Historic District. Hard Bargain Association won the “Heritage Preservation” award for the Historic Hard Bargain Neighborhood. Taking home the “Preservation Perseverance” honorary award was the Nolensville Historical Society for saving the Morton-Brittain house. 

Local preservationist and two-time Heritage Foundation board president Ed Silva was honored with the Mary Pearce Legacy Award. In its third year following recipients Rudy Jordan (2017) and Calvin and Marilyn LeHew (2018), the honorary award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated years of achievements and good works in our preservation community. 

In addition, the Foundation made key announcements regarding its newest division, Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens, the former campus of O’More College of Design. The new Franklin Grove logo and initial property concepts of rehabilitated or new structures on the property were unveiled. Many local firms were involved in the brand development process. Ultimately, the Heritage Foundation board of directors selected the logo designed by downtown Franklin’s Twine Graphics & Screen Printing. Twine’s owner John Bond is the Downtown Franklin Association design chair and serves on the Franklin Grove advisory board. 

Amongst many other donors, the Foundation also announced several lead gifts toward the Franklin Grove capital campaign. Sondra Morris gave a substantial gift to save the property, itself. Had Morris not stepped forward, the former O’More campus could have been sold to developers – forever losing this historic treasure in downtown Franklin. Emily Magid gave a gift toward the Lee-Buckner Rosenwald school restoration and documentary film production. Calvin and Marilyn LeHew gave a gift toward the Victorian mansion, to be renamed the Calvin LeHew Mansion, which will house Williamson, Inc.’s Center for Innovation. In addition, the Foundation announced Calvin LeHew as chair of the capital campaign to raise the remaining funds for the rehabilitation of Franklin Grove. “I am honored to be asked to be chair of the capital campaign,” said Calvin Lehew. “This project will become one of the largest and best developments in our beautiful and historic community. Our locals and tourists will fall in love with it.” 

The event was sponsored by Franklin Synergy Bank and food was provided by Taziki’s. 

For more information about the Heritage Foundation, visit WilliamsonHeritage.org. 

About the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN

Since 1967, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN has been dedicated to protecting and preserving Williamson County’s architectural, geographic and cultural heritage and promoting the ongoing revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation. Notable projects include The Franklin Theatre, Roper’s Knob, parts of the Franklin battlefield and the Old, Old Jail. The Foundation brings county history to about 3,000 public, private and homeschooled children each year through the Heritage Classroom program and walking tours of downtown Franklin. Events and festivals produced by the Heritage Foundation such as Main Street Festival, the Heritage Ball, Pumpkinfest and Dickens of a Christmas bring hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors to the county each year. The Heritage Foundation owns and operates the “home of first kisses,” The Franklin Theatre, the area’s nationally accredited Main Street Program through the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Downtown Franklin Association, and the organization’s newest division and current restoration and rehabilitation project, Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens. For more information about the Heritage Foundation, visit https://williamsonheritage.org.



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