All posts tagged: Franklin Theatre

Legacy and Promise

NOTE: This post first appeared on the Preservation Leadership Forum blog.  It is adapted from remarks I made at the February 23, 2019, National Trust for Historic Preservation Board of Trustees meeting, my last Board meeting after more than two decades with the National Trust. Over the past 22 years, I made it a practice to regularly reflect on both the legacy and the promise of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We were founded by Congressional Charter after America’s leaders had seen the destruction that war could inflict not only on people but also on a nation’s culture and heritage. Our founding chairman, David Finley, was one of the famous Monuments Men who risked their lives to save the cultural patrimony of Europe during World War II. Bill Murtagh, an early predecessor of mine in senior management, went on to a distinguished career in preservation as the first Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, establishing the tool to tell America’s story. Clearly, we stand on the shoulders of giants. The National Trust …

Historic Theatres and the 21st Century Community

(NOTE:  Two weeks ago, I presented the keynote address to the 40th annual meeting of the League of Historic American Theatres.  The following is an excerpt from my remarks – given from a personal perspective – about why these places mean so much to me and other Americans.) It is an honor to be here with so many individuals who work day-in and day-out to ensure that America’s historic theatres have a bright future. I think of your work – in part – as a form of storytelling, and I am so grateful for the work you do to tell the story of your special places.  Our efforts to identify and mark who we are is not only important to our history and our understanding of that history, but also to our understanding of the issues we face on a daily basis. The places we choose to preserve around the country tell us a great deal about who we are as a people.  Historic theatres are often beloved landmarks in our communities – places that …

My Turn on Music Row

I’ve often said I have one of the best jobs on earth.  I work with amazing people to save some of the best places in the country. I get to see some amazing sites. I have the chance to explain why these places matter. Last Monday was one of those days. The National Trust designated Nashville’s Music Row as a National Treasure. Nashville is undergoing an amazing transformation, where growth is putting pressure on some of the most important places in the history of country music. When a threat arose last summer, Musician Ben Folds and several other Nashville insiders worked hard to save historic Studio A from demolition. We joined them in this fight and – in the process – expanded our reach to all of Music Row. Knowing of my Tennessee roots and my love for roots and country music, our team asked if I would help launch our campaign.  It took me about 3 seconds to say yes. As you can see above, we had a great turnout from the media and …

Theatre Rebirth

I knew that I had become my father when I found myself telling a friend a few years ago that “I paid more for my last car than I did for my first house.”  It was one of those lines that my father used when I was young – and here I was repeating it!  (Just to set the record straight, our now 10-year-old car wasn’t that expensive; it just happened that as newlyweds, we got a great deal on a 1910 townhouse that needed a lot of work.) Another story that I heard from my father when I was young was how he spent nights and weekends taking up tickets and serving as the back-up projectionist at the Franklin Theatre in his hometown of Franklin, Tennessee.  Daddy knew all about the movies and stars from that era, because he had a free seat. So it was no surprise to me that Tom Brown would be in Franklin last Saturday evening when the lights in the marquee of the historic Franklin Theatre were turned on …