The following statement is a statement from Bari Beasley, President and CEO of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County:

Preservation is at the center of what makes this community special. Franklin and all of Williamson County have been good stewards of history which has benefited us all.

That commitment has never been better on display than the last several weeks as citizens stood to have their voices heard in the name of preservation in opposition to the proposed Middle Eight development. Our community showed up, overflowing City Hall for public comment, completely filling the Franklin Theatre for our advocacy forum, and organizing exhaustive outreach to our aldermen and Mayor.

We’ve been so proud to see that the spirit of preservation is alive and well in Franklin.

As you know, last night, the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BOMA) approved the proposed Middle Eight development on 2ndreading. While some concessions were made, we did not feel like it was nearly enough to answer the many lingering questions and concerns from both the community and the Heritage Foundation.

While this puts the Middle Eight on the path for full approval, we promise that we will continue to advocate for preservation, no matter any vote. We have written confirmation from the Tennessee Historical Commission that at a minimum a boundary reduction for the Truett House National Register is likely. We will fight to minimize that impact and to keep the Truett House on the National Register listing.

We know that the Truett House was Union General Schofield’s headquarters during the 1864 battle and there is tremendous possibility of archaeological deposits. We will explore every possible avenue, including asking the Historic Zoning Commission, to require ground penetrating radar and an archeological survey of the site before construction to ensure that history is not lost forever.

Preservation is a process. It isn’t won or lost on any one issue or vote.

We thank Franklin and Williamson County for their fight and passion. It is vital that we keep our spirit of preservation alive, as it will certainly be needed again.