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.
“Sites to Save is an increasingly important program and we again ask for the community’s help in shining a spotlight on the at-risk places we can unite together to advocate for,” said Rachael Finch, senior director of preservation and education. “Preservation works best with coordination and productive and positive advocacy that articulates the value of preserving the places and stories that make Williamson County special. We’re excited to hear from the community to aid us in guiding our priorities for this important and impactful program.”
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 a 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. Saturday, April 1, 2023, 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.
Ten properties were selected from last year’s 2022 Sites to Save nomination process: the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall, Old Natchez Trace – Vaughn Road Segment, Burns Farm, Natchez Historic District, Gaylor House, Creekside Property, Beard’s Grocery & Market, Frierson-Voorhies Cemetery, Daniel McMahon House, and Nolensville Historic Corridor. Since we announced last year’s list, the Creekside property has been saved by Franklin Preservation Partners, the Gaylor House is now protected within the City of Franklin’s Historic Preservation Overlay, we continue to work with the property owner to advocate for the future of Beard’s Grocery, and the Old Natchez Trace – Vaughn Road Segment has been saved from development.
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.
This year’s Sites to Save list will be revealed during Main Street Festival on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at the Heritage Foundation’s Main Tent. Local artists will paint each nominated site and the paintings will be for sale during the Main Street Festival.
To nominate an endangered historic place in Williamson County, visit WilliamsonHeritage.org/Endangered-Places-Nomination/.