Franklin Historic Preservation Overlay (HPO)
Franklin’s Historic Zoning lies within a Historic Preservation Overlay, or HPO. Franklin’s HPO currently consists of seven (7) local historic districts, ranging in size from Everbright Avenue Historic District (5 parcels) to the Franklin Road Historic District, which extends just under two miles on the City’s northeast side. Not to be confused with National Register Historic Districts, of which Franklin has four (4), local districts are adopted by ordinance by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and include legal enforcement of compliance with adopted historic district guidelines and regulations. Click here for a map overview of Franklin’s HPO districts.
- Located along Adams and Stewart Streets, the Adam Street Historic District contains dwellings constructed primarily between ca. 1890 and ca. 1940. Before becoming a neighborhood, the area was prime farmland and lay just outside of the original 1800 plat of the town. The majority of homes built along Adams Street are one-story frame houses built in Folk Victorian forms with Queen Anne and Italianate detailing. Bungalow styles were also built on Adams Street during the 1920s and 1930s. The Adams Street Historic District contains a significant collection of late 19th and early 20th century dwellings. This district is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Dwellings located in the Boyd Mill Avenue Historic District consists of a diverse collection of Colonial Revival, Folk Victorian, Bungalow and Cottage residences that were constructed in the early thru mid-twentieth century. These plots were originally sold off from the estates of the White and Bushi families. The exception to this is Magnolia Hall, an 1840 residence in Italianate style built by banker William S. Campbell. The historic district received its name from the Boyd Mill, located on the turnpike that connected Franklin with Old Hillsboro Road.
- The Downtown Franklin Historic District is composed of sixteen blocks of residential and commercial properties in the oldest section of the town. Within the district are Franklin's oldest residential and commercial buildings, including the public square and courthouse. The majority of the structures were built in the 19th century. Residences in the historic district run the gamut of architectural styles. Early homes were often built in the Federal style, and many show through their later additions and renovations the evolution of building styles, techniques, and sophistication in Middle Tennessee including Greek Revival, Italianate, and Victorian styles. The many styles of architecture exhibited in both public buildings and private residences in the Downtown Franklin Historic District compose one of the finest concentrations of such buildings in Tennessee and illustrate the continued evolution of Franklin as the governmental and commercial center of Williamson County. The Downtown Local Historic District is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- The Everbright Avenue Historic District is composed of 1920 Craftsman residences which were originally part of the campus of BGA which was built in 1889. The land was part of Congressman Richard Bostick's Everbright estate and passed thru the hands of Samuel Graham of Pinewood fame, and Franklin Mayor John B. McEwen before being sold. This district represents some of the finest craftsman structures built in Williamson County.
- The Franklin Road Historic District is located on the north bank of Harpeth River southwest of Mack Hatcher Memorial Parkway. Included in this district are several historic homes that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places including Wyatt Hall, Riverview, Creekside, Roper's Knob, The Factory, and Harlinsdale Farm. Dates from these properties range from the early 1800's thru the 1950's and represent an array of architectural designs including Federal, Greek Revival, Folk Victorian, Neo-Classical, and Bungalow. In 2006, Ordinance 2006-73 was passed to add additional properties on Franklin Road, Winslow Road, Myles Manor, and Hooper Lane due to their linkage in significance to the Franklin Road corridor. This included Myles Manor subdivision, which is an early example of Franklin’s subdivisions that has retained its integrity of scale and design.
- The Hincheyville Historic District is Franklin's first residential addition and is named for Hinchey Petway, a wealthy merchant. The district is primarily comprised of single-family residential buildings ranging in construction from ca. 1828 to the 1930's and represents the influence of Federal, Greek Revival, Victorian, Italianate, Queen Anne, Eastlake, Four Square, Bungalow, Tudor Revival, and Suburban residential styles. Hincheyville stands as an architecturally rich district representative of the major residential building trends evolving from the Federal period to the early 1930s in mid-sized towns of Middle Tennessee. The Hincheyville Local Historic District is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- The Lewisburg Avenue Historic District consists of an outstanding collection of late 19th and early 20th-century residential architecture located adjacent to the original town of Franklin boundaries. Since 1935 there has been little construction which has helped the district retain its original appearance and character. During the 1880s and 1890s many homes were built along this section of Lewisburg Avenue. Residences built in the district in the late 19th century included examples of the Queen Anne, Italianate, and vernacular forms of the period. Extensive construction within the district continued into the early 20th century and several fine Colonial Revival, English Tudor, and Bungalow influenced residence were built before 1935. The Lewisburg Avenue Local Historic District is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Franklin HPO also extends over eight (8) additional historic properties that lie outside of the local historic districts:
Seward Hall (on Liberty Pike)
Fort Granger (off Eddy Lane adjacent to Pinkerton Park)
Carnton Plantation (off Lewisburg Avenue on Carnton Lane)
Carter House (1140 Columbia Avenue)
Albert Lotz House (1111 Columbia Avenue)
John Herbert House (3201 Herbert Drive off Clovercroft Road)
William Harrison House (Columbia Pike)
Rebel’s Rest (176 Eagles Glen Drive)
More information about these additional historic properties is located within the Franklin Historic District Design Guidelines, which can be found on our Regulations and Maps page.
Is your property within the Franklin Historic Preservation Overlay (HPO)? Use this database to find out! This listing includes all the addresses located within the Historic Preservation Overlay, which is Franklin's local historic district designation. Not all of Franklin’s historic resources are included in the HPO. Some properties are significant but not designated or may be eligible for or listed in the National Register but are not in the HPO.
**This list is intended to serve as a resource only. All determinations of inclusion within the HPO should be confirmed with the City Preservation Planner.
National Register Historic Districts vs. Local Historic Districts: What’s the Difference?
Franklin has eight (8) historic districts in total, seven (7) of which are locally designated. The additional district, the Natchez Street Historic District, is designated on the National Register of Historic Places. The HPO does not extend over this district, so the local historic district guidelines do not apply in terms of design review. Four (4) of Franklin’s local historic districts—Adams Street, Downtown Franklin, Hincheyville, and Lewisburg Avenue—also happen to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Venn diagram below illustrates the relationship between the two designations as they pertain to Franklin’s districts.
National Register Historic Districts are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Administered by the National Park Service, the National Register of Historic Places is the official federal list of sites, buildings, structures, objects, and districts significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture.
Districts listed in the National Register have some protection from any potential adverse effects of federally-funded or licensed action. Register listing also provides property owners opportunities to receive certain federal tax incentives and matching grant aid for restoration and rehabilitation projects, when available.
National Register Districts DO NOT restrict the sale of private property nor require continued maintenance of private property. Unlike Local Historic Districts, National Register Districts do not require that any specific guidelines be followed in rehabilitation—unless the owner is using federal funds or receiving an investment tax credit—and do not protect the property from demolition.
Local Historic Districts are generally far more effective at preventing inappropriate changes than a National Register District. In a local historic district, the Historic Zoning Commission (HZC) must review any exterior alterations in material or design before any work begins related to a project.
The overlap (in purple) illustrated the Franklin local historic districts that also have National Register designation.