The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County announced Tuesday that it has entered into a contract to purchase the historic McConnell House building from the McConnell Hospitality Group.
The contract provides the Heritage Foundation with 30 days to conduct due diligence prior to closing on the property, per a release.
Originally known as White’s Tavern dating back to 1803, Williamson County purchased the property located at 108 Bridge St. in Franklin and in its place constructed a three-story brick jail that opened in 1905. By 1941 the jail was antiquated, and the neighboring Old, Old Jail was built (now known as the Heritage Foundation’s LeHew Magid Big House for Historic Preservation).
The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and has operated as the McConnell House private event venue since its acquisition by the McConnell Hospitality Group. Today, the Heritage Foundation says it remains a prime example of adaptive reuse of a historic structure.
The Heritage Foundation says its prospective plans with the acquisition are to maintain the historical integrity of the property, interpret its history for the benefit of the community, host mission-centric gatherings for the Heritage Foundation and its divisions and continue its operation as a publicly available venue for private events.
“This is a remarkable moment in our organization’s history,” said Bari Beasley, president and CEO of the Heritage Foundation. “As the immediate neighbor of our LeHew Magid Big House for Historic Preservation, the McConnell House building has long been appreciated and admired by our team. The fact that it became available now feels serendipitous as closing on this deal would allow its history to be preserved and shared while continuing to make this beautiful building accessible for the public.
“Furthermore, the community is largely aware of our efforts to convert the former O’More College of Design campus into the proposed Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens,” continued Beasley. “The addition of the McConnell House is particularly exciting because it would permit us an opportunity to think creatively about all of our initiatives and leverage this historic property to holistically support the nonprofit goals of Franklin Grove and the Heritage Foundation.
“We are grateful to Jason McConnell and the McConnell Hospitality Group for not only being great neighbors for years, but for their generosity in this process and for appreciating our vision to steward this historic property going forward.”
During this period of contract finalization, the organization says the Franklin Grove project continues to move through the approval process with the city of Franklin.
Additionally, the Heritage Foundation says it will incorporate the McConnell House purchase as a part of the existing Franklin Grove capital campaign.