Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens

Art. Education. Nature. Community.


This visionary reuse of the former O'More School of Design Property will establish a landmark destination where time stands still, beauty surrounds, dreams begin, and an adventure in discovery awaits. The presentation below is available for a limited time and will help you become familiar with the project and discover ways Franklin Grove is working to contribute to the neighborhood and broader community.

The goals of this presentation are to:

1) Share the updated master plan, based on feedback from various parties, including stakeholders, neighbors and the City of Franklin in an easy, accessible format,

2) Remedy any misinformation about the project; and

3) Provide an outlet for further questions and input for the Heritage Foundation.


You can make a direct impact on the county’s future by helping to preserve its past. We welcome your help to help make Franklin Grove a remarkable asset for our community. Through your advocacy and financial contributions, Franklin Grove can become a place to marvel at the county’s natural beauty, appreciate artistic expression, reflect on educational history and stories of the past, and recharge to see the world again with a fresh perspective.

Thank you for your support!

Frequently Asked Questions

The Franklin Grove Estate and Gardens is the latest in a long history of historic preservation initiatives by the nonprofit Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN.  Our past efforts have supported the Lotz House, Battlefield of Franklin, Carnton, Roper’s Knob, McLemore House, the LeHew Magid Big House for Historic Preservation (Old, Old Jail), Lee-Buckner Rosenwald School, the downtown Main Street streetscape beautification, The Franklin Theatre renovation, and more – each contributing to the quaint appeal and historic charm that has made Williamson County so beloved.

We believe that Franklin Grove represents an integral part of Franklin’s history and therefore deserves to be stewarded for the benefit of the entire community. Franklin Grove will further contribute the ancillary benefit of spurring economic vitality within the county and preserving accessible natural green space for the enjoyment of all.

The property’s current zoning, Civic Institutional would have allowed for facilities such as childcare centers, funeral homes, clinics, rehabilitation centers, continuum care facilities and others to be built. However, when we secured the property from Belmont University, we did so with the intent of honoring the history of the property and adding to its legacy, making it a complementary asset for the neighborhood, and helping the property find its highest and best use for the benefit of the community.

As mentioned in the presentation, Art, Education and Community describes aspects of the property’s contributions to Franklin in its recent past. Through art exhibitions, the historic Lee-Buckner Rosenwald School, natural gardens and educational experiences, Franklin Grove will keep these traditions alive.

Work on this intersection will be done through a public/private partnership between the City of Franklin and the Heritage Foundation. The Franklin Grove project may help expedite the original timeline of public improvements slated for the intersection. The improvements will make the intersection much safer than it is today, for both vehicles and pedestrians.

City noise ordinance guidelines will be enforced on the grounds. In addition to this, many sincere strides were made during the planning process to further manage noise:

  • In direct response to the neighbors’ feedback about previous outdoor music on the property, the Heritage Foundation agrees there will be no amplified music outdoors on the property.
  • The Conservatory size has been reduced from its original design. The Conservatory has been purposely positioned to face inward toward the property rather than out toward neighbors.
  • The Summer House was created as a direct result of the neighbors requesting no tented, outdoor events on the property. There will be no such events.
  • The Oak Gardens (back gardens), home to the Conservatory and Summer House will be an inward focused “walled” garden, with brick walls and ornamental planting surrounding the entire perimeter.
  • The interiors and exteriors of both the Conservatory and the Summer House will be outfitted with sound-lock doors, triple-pane glass and acoustic paneling.

In the current master plan, there are 90 parking spaces allocated on the property, which is equal to what was on the property during O’More’s tenure on the property.  In this plan, parking will be surrounded by lush planting and will be screened from roads and neighbors. Additionally, a roundabout on the grounds will be created in order to easily facilitate trolley drop-off and ridesharing services that further limit on-site parking needs.

As a nonprofit organization, the Heritage Foundation and Franklin Grove will need ongoing and diversified revenue streams to support its mission and to sustain the property as an accessible community asset. Just like many other similar historic sites locally, regionally and nationally, Franklin Grove will have space for organizational, civic and private events. These gatherings could include school field trips, community education workshops or lectures, small business retreats, nonprofit fundraisers, social events and more. Revenue from these types of events is vital to historic sites, as it will be for Franklin Grove. As a good neighbor, we will work to limit the impact of these events to surrounding residents. We will be working on an operational plan with the City of Franklin to achieve the best event procedures possible.

Franklin Grove will move through the rezoning and site development approval processes with the City of Franklin over the next six to nine months. The Heritage Foundation must also raise millions of dollars from individual, foundation and corporate donors in order to fund the project. If you are interested in financially supporting Franklin Grove, please complete the form on this page and join others helping the Franklin Grove.

Advocate: Just like when the community rallied around the reopening of The Franklin Theatre, Franklin Grove needs the community to help make this project become a reality. Let your elected representatives know you support Franklin Grove and tell your friends and neighbors as well.

Donate: Complete the form and check the “I’d like to know more about financially supporting Franklin Grove” box.

Stay Informed: Complete the form and check the “Send me occasional email updates on Franklin Grove” box.



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Further Questions Answered


On September 9, 2021, the Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens official neighbor meeting was held at City Hall. Good questions were raised, and while the forum served as an opportunity to listen, we wanted to address questions as best we can with the information we currently have in this video, dated September 17, 2021. Further questions and comments may be submitted above in the comment form.