Our Projects

The Heritage Foundation is proud of our community’s preservation, restoration and rehabilitation stories which span more than 50 years.

COUNTY HISTORIC ASSET INVENTORY

In 2002, the Heritage Foundation worked with Thomason and Associates to conduct a survey of the historic resources/assets of Williamson County. Now, we are working to make that survey available to the public and to update this inventory, assisting us in identifying imminent preservation needs.

COMMUNITY ADVOCACY & SUPPORT

Our preservation team actively works with community members on their own history, preservation and green space conservation needs. From National Register for Historic Places nominations, Youth Leadership Franklin’s History Day, and more, our team is available to help you.

TN STATE HISTORIC TAX CREDIT

Historic tax credits are an important preservation tool to incentivize and reward commercial preservation projects. Tennessee is one of only 15 states that does not have a historic tax credit. Our team continues to work with local and state elected officials, architects, preservationists and others to try and pass this important economic bill.

FRANKLIN GROVE ESTATE & GARDENS

Purchased in 2019, Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens is the Heritage Foundation’s most ambitious project to date. Located in downtown Franklin, the five-acre campus includes two 19th-century historic homes and was most recently the home of the O’More School of Design from 1979-2018. The Foundation plans to restore and rehabilitate the mansions – making the 1865-era anchor of the property into space for publicly displayed historical and art collections and the Victorian-era mansion, recently named the LeHew Mansion, into Williamson, Inc.’s new Center for Innovation, an idea and entrepreneurship center. In addition, the Foundation envisions several new event spaces on the property, including a conservatory, beautiful gardens and more.

LEE-BUCKNER SCHOOLHOUSE

Currently located on Duplex Road in Spring Hill, TN, the Lee-Buckner school is the last unrestored Rosenwald school in both Williamson and Davidson counties. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Rosenwald schools were the result of a 1912 partnership between ex-slave and Tuskegee Institute graduate, Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald, CEO of Sears, Roebuck and Company. This initiative led to the construction of more than 3,500 schools, shops and teacher homes between 1917 and 1932 that would serve rural African-American children and their communities. The land on which the school currently resides will eventually be sold, which led to the Foundation’s purchase of the school in 2018. The organization plans to relocate the school to the Franklin Grove campus in downtown Franklin and to restore it back to its former 1920’s glory.

Williamson County's Past Preservation Projects

Each project is unique, but the collective results can be attributed to visionary leaders, public-private partnerships, collaboration with other nonprofits, generous donors, and the Heritage Foundation’s outstanding Board and Staff.

Click on these projects below to read about how these properties were preserved.