Delivered by Bari Beasley, Heritage Foundation President and CEO

For 56 years, the Heritage Foundation has advocated for the preservation of our historic and cultural resources.

In October of 2022, we met with the Middle Eight developers. After reviewing the project, we shared our appreciation for their intentional vision to unite the Franklin community through a new housing initiative. At that time, we also shared our best practice recommendations for understanding the historic significance of this property through ground penetrating radar and an archaeological survey, prior to any future development.

To be clear, the Heritage Foundation’s evaluation of this project started on day one, not the eleventh hour. We are having conversations every day in this community on this project and others. The concerns we raised really should matter to everyone—simply for consideration, rather than resistance. We’re a historic community and this has a lasting impact on Franklin.

As stated to this board before, we agree with the neighbors’ concerns about the height, density and, most importantly, the impact that this project will have on historic properties nearby.

Without doubt, the Heritage Foundation recognizes the sentiment of the Middle Eight project, including a creation of an arts and culture district. Our hope is that this project and that projects similar to this can be accomplished while maintaining the historic character and landscape of Franklin Road and our historic downtown corridor. These spaces represent the very essence of what makes our community a welcoming place for all.

The Heritage Foundation’s daily advocacy work doesn’t always make the news, but it’s at the very core of the Heritage Foundation’s mission to protect not only the historic Truett house and its landscape, but also all of our resources that vitally contribute to saving our history and culture for present and future generations.