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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

In the News: Ten in Tenn: Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 7 - Franklin, TN

A few days ago, the Tennessee Preservation Trust released their 2015 list of endangered historical sites in the state. This week on the blog, we are talking about some of the properties on this list. Here is how TPT describes the list:
"The Tennessee Preservation Trust’s Ten in Tennessee Endangered Properties List Program is TPT’s strongest advocacy tool for the state’s most endangered historic sites. Each year, TPT seeks nominations for the “Ten in Tenn” from the public from each of Tennessee’s nine Development Districts."

You can also see past entries on their website here:

Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 7 - Franklin, TN

Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 7, a Gothic revival building constructed in 1823, is the oldest public building in Franklin, Tennessee. It houses Hiram Lodge No. 7, founded in 1809, and is the oldest Masonic Hall in continuous use in Tennessee. It was the location of the negotiation and signing of the Treaty of Franklin in 1830, in which the Chickasaw Indians sold their lands prior to being moved west to today's Oklahoma. Sitting president Andrew Jackson was a participant, the only time a U.S. President would journey to an Indian council for the purpose of making a treaty. The building was used as a hospital for wounded Union soldiers after the Battle of Franklin, during the American Civil War. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973.

The brick building is three stories tall, five bays wide and five bays deep. The front roof line is gabled in the center, battlemented to either side of the center gable, and surmounted by five obelisk pinnacles. The windows of the first two floors at the front are elongated Gothic with 11 lights over eight set in semi-circular indented two-story brick arches. The central windows over the entrance are set in a Gothic indented arch of three stories. The windows of the third floor are rectangular, 4 lights over four. Plain rectangular windows are found along the sides and rear of the building--on the first two floors, 12 lights over 16; on the third floor, 8 lights over 8.

Still occupied by the Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 7, the group has actively sought education and funding for the preservation and restoration of the building, but does not have the funds for necessary structural repairs. Multiple additions made to the structure in 1856 and 1914 altered the stability of the walls, which has caused severe structural damage.

For more, read this article.

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