Ribbon cutting signals new chapter for McPhail building, this time as office for Downtown Franklin Association


Ribbon cutting signals new chapter for McPhail building, this time as office for Downtown Franklin Association

PHOTO: Franklin Mayor Ken Moore is flanked to his right by Heritage Foundation of Williamson County CEO Bari Beasley and Downtown Franklin Association Executive Director Jill Burgin to his left during Tuesday’s ribbon cutting at the McPhail building. / Photos by John McBryde

By JOHN McBRYDE

Franklin Mayor Ken Moore believes the historic McPhail building on Main Street couldn’t be more ideal as the office and welcome center for the Downtown Franklin Association.

And to help make it official, a ribbon cutting was held Tuesday morning to ceremoniously welcome Jill Burgin as the executive director of the Downtown Franklin Association and the Main Street program. The outgoing mayor of Brentwood, Burgin was hired for the DFA position in December and has actually been in the McPhail building since early January. Tuesday’s gathering sealed the deal, so to speak.

Jill Burgin stands in her Downtown Franklin Association office inside the McPhail building on Main Street.

“This building has had a lot of history, but I think the significant thing about today is that we have a new director for the Main Street program and this is where she’s going to be housed,” Moore said. “And how appropriate is that, that it’s in one of the more historic structures on Main Street. The underpinning of Franklin’s success is our Main Street program and the preservation effort that goes on here. It just adds so much to the quality of life that we have.”

Moore was joined by other city officials, Franklin aldermen, Williamson Inc. staff and chamber ambassadors, and staff from the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County.

The McPhail building dates back to 1815 and served as the office for Dr. Daniel McPhail until he died in 1846 in the Mexican War, where he was a surgeon. His nephew Dr. Daniel Cliffe took over the practice. The building was also the law office for Capt. Tom Henderson for 60 years and was home for the Heritage Foundation from 1974-95. It recently was the Franklin satellite site of Early’s Honey Stand, a longtime business in Spring Hill, from 2013-18.

Burgin has lived in Williamson County for almost 30 years, the past 19 in Brentwood. Prior to serving as mayor, she served on the Brentwood City Commission for nearly eight years. Her hobbies include genealogy and historic cemeteries.

“[The McPhail] building has a long history, and it’s nice to have it back for the welcoming center and headquarters for the Downtown Franklin Association,” Burgin said. “It is really a unique space, to be right on Main Street with all the other merchants. People can stop by; I’d be glad to welcome them.”

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