Taking Guardianship of a Historic Home

Taking Guardianship of a Historic Home

One of Franklin's most historic homes, 302 3rd Ave. South features original poplar floors, chandeliers dating back to the 1800's, and a complete restoration offers modern amenities. Offered at $799,900 by Chris Mannino of The Lipman Group Sotheby's International Realty. Click on the image for more photos and information.

One of Franklin’s most historic homes, 302 3rd Ave. South features original poplar floors, chandeliers dating back to the 1800′s, and a complete restoration offers modern amenities. Offered at $799,900 by Chris Mannino of The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty. Click on the image for more photos and information.

Entering a home from a bygone era is like crossing a threshold in time.

“Historic residences are profound works of both art and craft,” says Katherine Malone-France, director of outreach, education and support at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C. “They tell us a lot about ourselves, what people liked, what was important to them and how their lives were structured.”

Across the board and around the globe, buyers have long been drawn to the pleasures of owning a moment in time.

Not every older home can measure up. Only those deemed to have historical, cultural or aesthetic value are eligible for special designation. That “value” can be based on architecture, of course, but it can also be tied to an event associated with the home or to an individual who once lived there.

More than anything, owners of historic homes buy for love. Love of the artisanship, architectural details and even the quirks. Still, it’s a smart investment. A landmark plaque on a residence increases property value. It assures buyers the qualities that attracted them to the home in the first place will endure over time. What’s more, “historic homes are incredibly sturdy and solidly built,” says Malone-France. “They have so many more hand-driven fasteners, they contain woods that are no longer available to us but were specifically selected because of their strength and properties for different elements, whether as rafters or floor joists. They were built to breathe, to adapt, to last.”

Yes, there are some unconventional layouts in older homes and, yes, owners must follow certain prescribed guidelines when making changes or improvements. That comes with the territory. Preservation guidelines are intended to safeguard character-defining elements and protect against inappropriate alterations. Owners are tasked with keeping the structure in good repair and obtaining prior approval before performing work. Based on the governing body, the guidelines can be as specific as the choice of paint colors and the selection of foliage.

The dining room at 302 3rd Ave South in Franklin showcases the glamour and romanticism of an ancient time. Click on the image for more photos and information from Chris Mannino of The Lipman Group Sotheby's International Realty.

The dining room at 302 3rd Ave South in Franklin showcases the glamour and romanticism of an ancient time. Click on the image for more photos and information from Chris Mannino of The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty.

Would-be buyers are sometimes intimidated by the prospect, feeling they may be required to spend exorbitantly on the maintenance of a landmarked home. Not so, says Malone-France. “The best preservation work is often the most economical. You basically strengthen the places that need to be strengthened and make sure the exterior envelope is solid. It doesn’t have to be a tremendously expensive or invasive process.” Historical preservation organizations are a good source for architect, contractor and artisan referrals.

Eran Chen is the founder and creative director of ODA–Architecture in New York, a firm with an extensive portfolio of historic projects. He considers the city’s preservation commission a partner in the design. The firm worked on a Union Square condominium building discovered to have been designed for Tiffany & Company in the late 19th century. Encased—and forgotten—behind brick walls were beautiful cast-iron arches. That finding “changed everything” about the development of the project, Chen says. “There’s always a lot of discovery,” he says. “The process is full of surprises. In some old structures, there are really treasures hidden in the walls and in the floors.”

302_3rd_Ave_South_Franklin_Home_For_SaleThere are historic homes and then there are homes located in historic districts like the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, Calif., and the French Quarter of New Orleans, La. In New York City alone, there are dozens of historic districts. Louise Beit of Sotheby’s International Realty in New York frequently handles properties with landmark designation. The homes are typically located on gracious, tree-lined streets. Many were designed by prominent architects of the 1920s. “They are a fabulous investment,” Beit says. “They go up in value exponentially.” While buyers don’t necessarily seek out landmarked properties, she says they consider it a bonus when a home they love happens to be designated as one. It means that a governing entity, in this case the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, is looking out for the property’s—and neighborhood’s—best long-term interests. “Buyers can be assured the residence will always be saleable and in excellent architectural and aesthetic taste.”

Most countries have programs intended to protect buildings of architectural or historic distinction. Like the U.S., homes of exceptional interest in Mexico, for instance, have registries at the federal, state and local municipal levels. Residences in historic districts such as Mexico City’s downtown Zócalo neighborhood, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mérida and Querétaro are in especially high demand, says Graciela Zamudio Conde of Guadalajara Sotheby’s International Realty in Mexico. Her work with historic properties focuses on haciendas—country estates mainly from late 1800s and early 1900s. Buyers are clear about what they want: “All the glamour and romanticism of an ancient time, but with all the luxury and comfort of the modern lifestyle.”

“Owning a historic home means being part of a continuum. People intrinsically get that and value that,” says Malone-France. “Historic homes are powerful buildings. They are not to be feared or be wary of, but to be celebrated.”

Source: Sotheby’s International Realty for the Wall Street Journal

Where to live near Nashville: Franklin, TN

Located in Williamson County, about 20 miles south of downtown Nashville, Franklin, TN, is home to almost 65,000 people that are surrounded by history, architecture, nature, entertainment and commerce.  The area of downtown Franklin is built around a town square located at 3rd Avenue and Main Street (U.S. Route 31), and is located in zip code 37064.

Franklin has become known for shopping and eating as well.  An idyllic main street is vibrant, filled with boutiques, antique shops, and shoppers. The Factory at Franklin is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and includes restaurants, antiques shops, art galleries, one-of-a-kind retail stores, culinary school, theater, working artisans, farmer’s market and much more. For a traditional shopping experience, there’s always CoolSprings Galleria.

Franklin, TN, is home to many equestrian estates...a horse lover's paradise!

Franklin, TN, is home to many equestrian estates…a horse lover’s paradise!

Many people associate the majestic rolling hills in and around Franklin, TN, with horses. There are many horse shows, horse farms, and associated businesses in the area.

The Nashville area is fortunate to have many famous people and celebrities living in its metro area. Franklin is a popular place for large estate homes for celebrities such as:

Steven Curtis Chapman

Ashley Judd

George Jones

Lee Greenwood

Franklin has lovely homes in many price ranges, including these three homes for sale in Franklin:

A traditional, new home for sale in Franklin, TN.  Please click on the image to see more photos and information on 2007 Barclay Lane, Franklin, TN, listed at $350,000.

A traditional, new home for sale in Franklin. Please click on the image to see more photos and information on 2007 Barclay Lane, Franklin, TN, listed at $350,000.

An historic home for sale in downtown Franklin. 302 3rd Ave. South is offered at $799,000 by Chris Mannino of The Lipman Group Sotheby's International Realty.

An historic home for sale in downtown Franklin. 302 3rd Ave. South is offered at $799,000 by Chris Mannino of The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty.

Misty Meadows is an equestrian estate for sale in Franklin, TN.  Offered at $2,495,000. Click on the image for more photos and information on 3100 Del Rio Pike Franklin,TN, 37064.

Misty Meadows is an equestrian estate for sale in Franklin, TN. Offered at $2,495,000. Click on the image for more photos and information on 3100 Del Rio Pike Franklin,TN, 37064.

Nashville's grand estate, Eagle's Rest, is for sale for $27,500,000. Listed by The Lipman Group Sotheby's International Realty

Franklin’s grand estate, Eagle’s Rest, is for sale for $27,500,000. Listed by The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty