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Heritage Foundation moves into new temp-home on 2nd Avenue

The Heritage Foundation's temporary home
is at 134 2nd Avenue North in Franklin.

After 14 years in the Post Office Building at Franklin’s Five Points, the Heritage Foundation is moving into its temporary home at 134 2nd Avenue North while the historic preservation group’s final destination – the Old, Old Jail two blocks from the Town Square – eventually undergoes renovations.

With the help of staff and volunteers, the Heritage Foundation is almost moved in to their new place and will most likely be working out of the new offices by Friday.

Six-rooms of office space at the temporary Second Avenue location will accommodate the foundation’s needs. “It’s a beautiful building. We love it, and it will be a nice spot for us for a couple of years until the Old, Old Jail renovations are completed,” Nancy Williams, Downtown Franklin Association Director said.

The renovations to the Old, Old Jail is an extensive job that is expected to take about two years to complete.

The Heritage Foundation agreed to purchase the Old, Old Jail, 112 Bridge in Franklin, in April for $25,000, and is expected to close on the deal this summer. However, a long road to accomplishing a full renovation still lies ahead. “It requires a complete rehabilitation,” said Mary Pearce, executive director of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County.

The Old, Old Jail built in 1942, which has rested vacant for 20 years, suffers from “environmental issues,” according to Pearce such as plants growing on the inside of the building and the presence of water leaks, asbestos and lead paint. The building sits within 100 feet of the Harpeth River, and the so-called 1,000-year flood of 2010 brought about mold damage.

The Heritage Foundation will rely on fundraising ventures to fund the extensive renovation for the Old, Old Jail.

The foundation’s move from Five Points is necessitated by the city’s agreement to a 20-year lease with FirstBank. The relocation is a result of a partnership between FirstBank and the Heritage Foundation, who both wish to renovate historic buildings in Franklin.

FirstBank will renovate their rented space in the almost nine-decade old historic Post Office Building at Five Points, while the Heritage Foundation brings the Old, Old Jail back to life.

“Historic buildings are meant to be used,” Pearce said. “This way, we have two buildings being restored, which can be used to their fullest potential.”

“Our mission is to put these buildings to use, and we can’t do that if we don’t save them. It [the Old, Old Jail] was in huge jeopardy of being lost. It has been a part of Franklin’s story since 1942,” Pearce said.

Posted on: 6/27/2013

 
 

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