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Foundation with 56 years of preservation history believes important changes and commitments are necessary to make Middle Eight compatible with surrounding historic neighborhood

FRANKLIN, TN (July 11, 2023) – At the recommendation of staff and by affirmative vote of its board of directors, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County is announcing its opposition to the Middle Eight development without commitment from the developers to implement extremely important concessions and reconsideration of its impact on historic character and preservation in Franklin.

“After careful and continued review of the proposal and interactions with the Middle Eight development team, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County must stand in opposition to the current proposal for Middle Eight,” said Bari Beasley, President and CEO of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County. “We respect the individuals in the development and understand Franklin’s growth pressures, but the project shifted in ways that will have lasting negative impacts within the historic Franklin Road corridor and its surrounding neighborhoods. It is a dangerous precedent to set without further community consideration.”

Chief among the Foundation’s concerns are:

  • The proposed height and massing with preliminary approval by the Historic Zoning Commission;
  • The Middle Eight development plan advancing before the impending approval of Envision Franklin, which is a community document to guide appropriate growth;
  • Nearly 3.5 acres of the Middle Eight’s 7.2 acres are in a historic overlay, including where the largest multi-family buildings are planned which could jeopardize the historic Truett House’s current National Register of Historic Places standing;
  • As a known historically significant area which included multiple Civil War regimental encampments and an African American refugee camp in 1863 among other important historic sites, no archaeological work has been done to preserve this information or history by the Middle Eight developers; and
  • With a natural 26-foot slope between Liberty Pike to Old Liberty Pike, blasting for a large multi-storied underground parking garage would likely increase flooding and threaten neighboring historic structures.  

“Ultimately, the Middle Eight project risks nullifying the integrity of Franklin’s last remaining green gateway leading into Franklin’s historic downtown and does not contextually align with the historic Franklin Road neighborhoods,” added Beasley. “Because of that, further commitments should be made by the Middle Eight developers.”

Several of the Heritage Foundation’s recommendations include:

  • The developer should return to the Historic Zoning Commission for approval based on the now known height of Jamison Station in deference to the increased height of its multi-family buildings so its full impact may be appropriately considered;
  • The developer should delay the timeline to properly understand and implement best practices in site development and accept all City of Franklin guidance possible from the Envision Franklin plan which will be finalized by the close of 2023;
  • The developer should commit to ground penetrating radar and an archeological survey to fully map the historic significance of the Middle Eight footprint;
  • The developer should commit to incorporating these findings into a permanent exhibit within its development so the history of the site is understood by all in the community; and
  • The developer should actively demonstrate to all surrounding neighborhoods and historic homeowners that blasting for underground parking will not have a lasting structural impact.

“While undertaking our recommendations, there should be serious consideration made by all decision-making parties as to the impact of extreme density on this property and what its long-term effect will be on the historic characteristics of our community,” said Beasley.

Historic preservation has been the central tenant of the Heritage Foundation’s mission for 56 years. The Foundation urges more voices and consideration to evaluate the realities of density, present and future quality of life, and livability for all.

Those interested in learning more about preservation efforts can visit:



Since 1967, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County has been dedicated to preserving Williamson County’s architectural, geographic and cultural heritage as well as promoting the ongoing revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation. Notable projects include The Franklin Theatre, Roper’s Knob, parts of the Franklin battlefield and the Old, Old Jail. Events and festivals produced by the Heritage Foundation such as Main Street Festival, the Heritage Ball, PumpkinFest and Dickens of a Christmas bring an estimated 300,000+ locals and visitors to downtown Franklin each year that creates more than a $10 million dollar economic impact annually. The Heritage Foundation owns and operates The Franklin Theatre, Downtown Franklin Association, Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens, and its newest historic adaptive reuse project: The History & Culture Center of Williamson County. For more information about the Heritage Foundation, visit

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