Acquisition Allows Heritage Foundation to Expand its Reach in Williamson County


The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN today is finalizing its purchase of the historic McConnell House building from McConnell Hospitality Group. Over the past thirty days, the Foundation utilized the contract due diligence period to thoroughly vet the opportunity, which culminated with its Board of Directors voting unanimously to acquire the property.

“Our acquisition of the McConnell House ensures that another National Register of Historic Places property in Williamson County will be retained and stewarded for the public good,” stated Bari Beasley, president and CEO of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN. “While full details regarding our planned use for this property are still unfolding, we know that our intent is to further the mission of the Heritage Foundation and to make this building’s rich history accessible to the entire community.”

The acquisition of the McConnell House building by the Heritage Foundation provides a new opportunity to generate and share revenues from the property across the nonprofit organization, including the proposed Franklin Grove Estate and Gardens project. Because of the opportunity created by the McConnell House building, the Foundation has determined the new construction of a hall is not required to accomplish the vision of Franklin Grove. The Franklin Grove project will move forward with the current Franklin Innovation Center and the proposed art museum, natural gardens, educational programming, and historic Lee-Buckner Rosenwald School.

“Until the McConnell House opportunity became available in February, we would not have been able to reimagine the Franklin Grove concept in such a way,” continued Beasley.  “But because of this, what has ultimately taken place is that the Heritage Foundation has been given an opportunity to take a huge step forward in its fifty-fifth year. We are now positioned to fulfill our vision for Franklin Grove and create an entirely new offering through the McConnell House building. We are so pleased about this turn of events, and we look forward to sharing more information soon.”



Originally known as White’s Tavern & Inn dating back to 1803, the building welcomed locals and travelers including Andrew Jackson, Felix Grundy, Thomas Hart Benton, and James K. Polk. Williamson County purchased the property located at 108 Bridge Street in Franklin, TN and in its place constructed a three-story brick jail that opened in 1905. By 1941 the jail was antiquated, and the neighboring Old, Old Jail was built (now known as the Heritage Foundation’s LeHew Magid Big House for Historic Preservation). In 1980, the Tennessee Historical Commission recognized the building’s historic renovations as a distinctive method of adaptive reuse and awarded it a Certificate of Merit. From the 1980s to present day, the National Register of Historic Places c1905 Jail housed a local cable company, Battle Ground Brewery, Monell’s restaurant, and the McConnell House event venue and catering headquarters.

Plans for a mission-centric use of the McConnell House will be revealed in the upcoming months. To get involved, please call us at 615-591-8500.