MY VIEW
Franklin has 3 great areas

Downtown: Main Street and all the fifteen block area, the somewhat grid-like development of houses surrounding, the commerce and industry that grew along roads radiating out of downtown like spokes, all constrained by the river (which required bridges) and the railroad (which required an overpass or an at-grade crossing)

Cool Springs: the economic heart, the money maker with the shopping and dining, the center of employment and corporate headquarters, and home to big multifamily developments

The subdivisions: heart of the growth and vitality that makes Franklin different now from the town of 7,000 that I moved to in 1968

Williamson County had a population of approximately 25000 each of the censuses between 1850 and 1960. Franklin had a larger proportion of the 25,000 toward the end of that time. Then National Life (a Nashville insurance company) built a water line from the Cumberland River into the county to provide water for development. Prior to that time the development that grew out of Metro Nashville had occurred in Sumner County where Old Hickory Lake had waterfront property as well as plenty of water for houses. The early subdivisions in the 1960s developed in the unincorporated areas of the county, including several that are now inside the city. Growth was on its way.

Franklin with the quaint and charming Main Street and pre-Civil War and Victorian homes was also a factory town in the 1950s and 60s. Industry and commerce supplied money for the city coffers, which always had extra funds for any project desired by those city officials in the know, except for extremely large projects like the by-pass (now the partially built Mack Hatcher parkway).

Franklin now has a wonderful mix of old and new. Old buildings in the downtown area and out in the countryside are mixed with new office buildings, new shopping, and new subdivision homes. Natives of Franklin and long time residents are mixed with newcomers.

Franklin needs to thrive and grow responsibly. We need to ensure that services such as water, sewer, and roads are adequate for the present residents and for those who will come later. Police and fire protection and solid waste pickup should continue to deliver a high level of service. The city needs to prioritize the spending on big ticket items, whether for new facilities for police and city hall, for expansion of programs and facilities to existing and newly acquired parks, or for infrastructure for water, sewer, and roads. Funding does have limits, even in Franklin. The next years will require analysis of what can reasonably and responsibly be accomplished by Franklin to ensure that present residents and those who come later will have a city that they can proudly call home.

The concept of home is important to people who move to Franklin. They like the downtown that has an identity. They like the good schools their children attend. They like the friendliness. They like the convenience of local shopping and restaurants. There is a bond in the community and in the kinship with fellow residents in all parts of the city. People feel at home here, whether they are newcomers or lifelong residents.

On trips over the years, when asked where we lived (or in the south "Where are you from?" ), my husband would answer that we were from the Nashville Tennessee area. Often, in the ensuing conversation, we would say that we were from Franklin, just outside of Nashville. The response surprisingly often was "We know Franklin." "What a lovely area." "We visited Franklin when we were in Nashville."

We have been fortunate that dedicated people have worked diligently over the years to preserve structures and guide the appearance of new construction. Franklin for the most part is quite attractive. But it must also function smoothly. It must provide adequate infrastructure in water, sewer, and roads. It must plan for responsible use of its money. There is more to a first rate city than an attractive appearance.

We want to keep Franklin a desirable place to live and work. It is important not only for the enjoyment of our daily lives, for the preservation of our property values, but for the future of Franklin.

What is your opinion about Franklin? Send an email to Ann by clicking the link below.
annpetersenalderman@gmail.com
This page last updated 09/05/2011