The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN, is now accepting this year’s nominations for its preservation advocacy program, Sites to Save, which seeks to identify historic places that are vulnerable to demolition, development, or neglect.
The Sites to Save list highlights properties that are historically significant and endangered because of age, condition, or potential development. It is designed as a tool to help the community come alongside the Heritage Foundation in its efforts to raise awareness of Williamson County’s significant historic, cultural, geographical, and archaeological resources including buildings, structures, cemeteries, historic districts, archaeological sites, natural and cultural landscapes.
Nominations can come from individuals, preservation organizations, downtown and neighborhood revitalization organizations, historical societies, historic road associations, local governments, and other interested parties, and can include historic structures, cemeteries, and natural resources.
“Historic places are the blueprints of our communities, and it takes all of us working together to preserve and protect them for future generations,” said Rachael Finch, senior director of preservation and education. “Our Sites to Save initiative shines a spotlight on at-risk places so that community members can rally and advocate for their longevity.”
Historic preservation has long been a vital contributor to the quality of life in Williamson County, and Heritage Foundation preservationists see the endangered list as way to generate creative approaches to preservation and connect property owners with resources to ensure that historic places are saved and rehabilitated for future generations.
Nominations will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 15, 2022, and evaluated by Heritage Foundation preservationists and members of the organization’s preservation and advocacy committee. Each nominated property will be reviewed for its value to local, regional, state, and/or national history and the nature of the specific threat involved and then narrowed down to a final list of Williamson County’s most endangered historic places.
Successful First Year in Preservation and Advocacy
Six properties were selected from last year’s 2021 Sites to Save nomination process: the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall, the Merrill-Williams House, Williamson Iron furnace, Civil War Earthworks, farmstead tracks in Nolensville, and the Franklin Creekside property.
Additionally, our Sites to Watch list included the Daniel McMahon House, the Gaylor House, and the McCord-Patton Cemetery. Of these, two have since been saved from the threat of development and demolition: The Merrill-Williams House and the Williamson Iron Furnace.
For each of the sites on the list, staff at the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County plan to attend relevant public meetings on their behalf, consult with willing property owners and municipalities about the history of the property and offer insight on preservation and restoration, and connect willing property owners with construction and preservation experts related to the needs of the site.
In addition, the top two sites on the list will receive in-kind resources valued between $25,000 and $50,000, through the Heritage Foundation and its divisions for preservation resources and fundraising.
This year’s Sites to Save list will be revealed during National Preservation Month at the Heritage Foundation’s 5th Annual Preservation Symposium on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at the Williamson County Enrichment Center. To nominate an endangered historic place in Williamson County, click HERE. To learn more about the 5th Annual Preservation Symposium, please click HERE.