“…your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls Restorer of Streets and Dwellings…”
The Five Year Plan
The five year plan for the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall – home to the oldest continually occupied fraternal space in the state of Tennessee and its history, steeped in local, state, and national people and events – represents the most transformative preservation venture in the United States.
Our bold comprehensive plan stems from a committed and determined approach to this project – including the preservation of an almost 200-year old historic, ceremonial Masonic space, complete with an inclusive interpretation surrounding its architecture, history, people, and cultural heritage. Through our partnership with the Masons of Hiram Lodge 7, a new three story annex, complete with an elevator and restrooms, will contain a new visitor center, educational and event space, staff offices, and private dining and meeting area for the Masons.
Nearly 200 years removed from the laying of the first foundational stone, the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall is charting a new course of discovery – witnessing its own transformation. Our plan is to not to simply reconstruct a local historic site – conventional “historic site museum” is not our goal. Building upon visionary ideals and innovation, visitors will experience state-of-the-art preservation technology and scholarship. Detailed research, conservation and interpretation, will allow visitors to personally connect to the past, present, and future in relevant, bold ways.
During each phase of the Hall’s restoration, innovative educational programming will inspire the visitor experience to the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall for people of all ages, from all walks of life – providing recurring opportunities to reconnect more than once with the Hall and grounds.
Preservation, interpretation and innovation – the Hall’s centerpieces- will connect its history and architecture to its legacies and current events, encompassing an all-inclusive experience at the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall.
Saving The Structure
Stabilization of the West (front) wall.
Design and Implement
Installation of new exterior drainage and design lighting.
Showcase periods of historic significance, demonstrating a holistic approach and application to best practices in preservation.
The majority of the interior work will take place during Phase II. However, the creation of a dynamic and engaging visitor experience will occur through specialized tours, with a hands on exploration of history through preservation and architecture.
Aspects of the work will include
- Conservation of the entire third floor hall and York Rite Masonic Ceremonial Room
- Public access to the third floor, stabilization of stairwell
- Installation of new lighting design and upgraded utilities to support new mechanical systems, including climate control, HVAC, fire suppression and security systems.
Leading the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall project is the architectural firm of Belinda Stewart Architects, PA from Eupora, Mississippi. Their commitment to preservation, local communities and sustainability makes their partnership to the Hall project mutually beneficial.
Ms. Stewart’s firm has won numerous awards for their work on historic buildings including the 2016 Mississippi Heritage Trust Award for Excellence, the 2016 Mississippi Heritage Trust Award for Preservation, and the 2016 Mississippi Heritage Trust and Mississippi African American Historic Preservation Council Award for Excellence in African American Preservation.
Belinda J. Stewart, FAIA
Principle of Belinda Stewart Architects