City could help Masonic Lodge preservation with funding


City could help Masonic Lodge preservation with funding

With the state of the Hiram No. 7 Masonic Lodge in structural danger, one alderman has suggested a funding plan to save one of Franklin’s oldest structures.

From top to bottom, problems abound throughout the Hall. This earned it a spot on the top 10 most endangered buildings in the state this past year.

The 1823 was used during the Civil War as a barracks for Union soldiers and as a quartermaster’s office. Once the tallest building in the downtown Franklin skyline, it also hosted the discussion on removal of the Chickasaw Nations, who later were forced to march on the Trail of Tears.

The Historic Franklin Masonic Hall nonprofit organization needs $15,000 for the structural engineering analysis report. Ward Three Alderman Mike Skinner will bring up the issue Tuesday night before the Board of Mayor and Alderman during its work session. Financial relief could also come from the county and the state.

The study would give insight regarding a structural analysis of the building and provide a preservation plan for guidance for building improvements to keep it within the right historical context.

The total cost for the prevention plan will be $60,000.

If approved, the city would use money from the general or hotel/motel tax fund.

BOMA will meet for the first time this year on Jan. 12, starting at 4:30 p.m. with the city’s Beer Board. Work session will follow at 5 p.m. with voting set for 7 p.m.

Emily West covers Franklin for Home Page Media Group. Contact her at emily@franklinhomepage.com. Follow her on Twitter via @emwest22.

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