Each year the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN, presents awards in multiple categories to recognize the best in preservation efforts across Williamson County. The 2020 Preservation Awards were presented Tuesday night, June 16, during the Foundation’s virtual annual meeting at The Franklin Theatre, and honored rehabilitation, restoration, preservation and craftsmanship of residential and commercial structures across the county.

In addition, the fourth annual Mary Pearce Legacy Award, selected by the Heritage Foundation Board based on an individual’s ability to inspire others to make significant contributions to historic preservation, was presented to local resident and historic preservation supporter Emily Magid. Past recipients include Rudy Jordan,Calvin and Marilyn LeHew and Ed Silva.

“I’m so happy to honor this year’s Legacy Award winner, the angel of the Franklin Theatre and frankly of the entire Heritage Foundation,” said David Garrett, president of the Heritage Foundation board. “Emily has created a legacy of service, philanthropy and making our community just a bit more colorful. Without her we wouldn’t have The Franklin Theatre. She also is a naming donor for the preservation of the Old, Old Jail, currently the Heritage Foundation office, and has given a major gift that will allow the relocation and restoration of the Lee-Buckner Rosenwald School at Franklin Grove.”

Magid, who is now in her 23rd year volunteering at the Heritage Foundation, said she has been honored to work on projects that have benefited and enriched Franklin in so many ways. “I am proud of these accomplishments, but even prouder of the community involvement that has ensued,” Magid said. “I may have made the initial start or ended a project with a boost, but it has always been the aid of the community that has made it possible for its completion.”

The 2020 Preservation Awards were presented by Blake Wintory, Ph.D., director of preservation at the Heritage Foundation, and were aimed at recognizing the best of the best in historic preservation across Williamson County. Award recipients are listed below and can be found at williamsonheritage.org.

“Historic preservation takes hard work and a strong vision,” Wintory said. “We are proud to recognize the architects, craftsmanship, owners and other leaders who dedicated their time and energy to these important projects that make Williamson County a great place to live, work and visit.”

Excellence in Infill in a Historic District

This award was presented to Renasant Bank in historic downtown Franklin, Architect Cyril Stewart, recognizing new construction that complements the historic character of the surrounding buildings.








Preservation Through Rehabilitation

Awarded to Puckett’s of Leiper’s Fork, Owners Rob and Shanel Robinson, recognizing projects that retain significant historic fabric, but do not attempt to restore a structure to an earlier appearance. In addition, an Honorable Mention was awarded to Historic 5th Square Mixed-Use Building, Owner Church Street Associates, Architect 906 Studio/Mike Hathaway, Principal.

“In the Spring of 2012, Rob and Shanel Robinson, owners of Puckett’s of Leiper’s Fork were faced with the closure of the restaurant and grocery store that had served the community since 1953,” Wintory said. “The Robinsons rose to the occasion to fix a complicated wastewater issue and remodel and expand the store in a way that retained the authenticity of this National Register structure.”

The Craftsperson Award

Awarded to Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Dennis Harmon of Emmanuel Stained Glass Studio, recognizing high-quality work that demonstrates an understanding of the principles and practices of preservation techniques on a specific project.

“Cornerstone contracted with Emmanuel Stained Glass Studio to restore the original stained glass in the 1890s church,” Wintory said. “The project initially began with four windows, but soon expanded to all of the church’s historic glass. Dennis Harmon removed each of the windows and carefully restored and re-installed each window preserving them for future generations.”

Preservation Through Restoration

Awarded to Slave Dwelling Restoration at Ravenswood Mansion, City of Brentwood. The primary goal of this project was to return a structure to a documented earlier appearance. In addition, an Honorable Mention was given to Vanderbilt Legends Club’s David McEwen House.

“In 2019, the City of Brentwood budgeted for the restoration of the two small, brick dwellings,” Wintory said. “The city oversaw a careful and expert restoration by Midwest Maintenance of Ohio to clean and repoint exterior brick as well as remove non-original doors and other modern elements. These restored slave dwellings will be an important reminder of the full story in this public space.”

Brentwood Assistant City Manager and Project Lead Jay Evans said that as the owners of the property, the City of Brentwood is the custodian of its history. “It is incumbent upon us to ensure these important structures survive the passage of time, and those who lived here and endured 19th century slavery are not forgotten,” Evans said. “This project goes a long way in preserving these historical assets for future generations.”

Community Relations Director Deanna Lambert said when you walk into the brick structures and look around, you know if the walls could talk, they would tell stories of the harsh reality of those who were enslaved at Ravenswood. “The City of Brentwood felt it was important to restore these cabins to make sure that future generations learn about the complete history of Middle Tennessee and the sacrifices of many,” she added.