*Please use the multiple links in the left column to navigate within the Historic Preservation program web pages.
The Historic Preservation Program promotes the identification, evaluation, rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, and restoration of the City’s historic, architectural, and archaeological heritage.
This website features information about the City’s Historic Zoning Commission, its Civil War Historical Commission, and other municipal preservation efforts. It also contains a resource library with informational links and articles regarding sound preservation and rehabilitation practices, incentive programs for owners of historic buildings, a Franklin illustrated architectural dictionary, and information about special City preservation-related projects and events.
Historic Preservation is one of the priorities identified by the City of Franklin in Franklin’s Land Use Plan and in the Central Franklin Area Plan. The preservation of the city’s historic character has proven to be of great economic benefit to Franklin. Franklin is a Preserve America Community and a Great American Main Street Community. Its Main Street has been named one of the Top 5 “Most Romantic” in the United States, and the American Planning Association has named Downtown Franklin Neighborhood one of the Great Places in America. Franklin has also been recognized as one of the 1000 Places to See in the US and Canada Before You Die.” The reason given is that Franklin is a well-preserved southern town.
We strive to preserve our history for so many reasons. We preserve out of a need for memories and to understand our past. Ask anyone what they love about Franklin and the answers you'll likely hear will almost certainly involve historic preservation: Main Street, downtown neighborhoods, local historic sites like Carnton Plantation and the Carter House, historic open spaces like Harlinsdale Farm, and the like. Our city has been shaped by our colorful history and our built environment helps to tell that story.
We preserve to protect our quality of life, our pride of place and our sense of community. We preserve so that we can pass on to future generations Franklin's rich past. In order to do that, we, of course, need to save local landmarks, but also we need to preserve the eclectic mix of residential and commercial architecture unique to our community. At the end of the day, we want our neighborhoods and commercial districts to continue to tell the story of our history to those who come after us. This can best be done by preserving the condition of our historic resources and by giving them new life and new purpose by making them our homes and places of business.
Taking care of our built environment does more than just save old buildings. It provides a sense of belonging, a collective memory and a sense of pride in our past. Preservation is not about longing for the past or resisting progress. It's about building on the past toward the future. A preservationist is by definition looking forward and impacting the future.
We hope you enjoy exploring the City’s Historic Preservation Program website!