Restoration in Progress!

Construction workers restoring the former .Grace  Lutheran Church

You may have driven past  the ‘Old Lutheran Church’ located at 1101 Buffalo St.  and noticed a difference.  In 2015 Franklin Preservation purchased the 1886 Stick Style structure with generous support from community members.  We plan to fully restore the building and to continue its use as a public venue.

Restoration began with the tower portion of the building in the fall of 2019 funded in part with a grant from the City of Franklin. The tower was reinforced with new structural framing for the eventual installation of a new soaring pyramidal roof replicating the original. Deteriorated framing was replaced at the same time along with damaged siding, trim, and window sills. Six tower windows were refurbished using existing ‘wavy’ glass taken from windows from the rear of the structure. A new portico roof was constructed over the front doors that matches the secondary entrance that also faces Buffalo Street.

Restoration kicked into full swing when Franklin Preservation received a matching Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) grant. Franklin Preservation matched this grant with funds raised through various events like the ‘Tiki BBQ Summer Party’ with live music held in the main hall, the ‘Holiday Tour of Historic Homes’, the ‘Divine Intervention New Year Celebration’ held at the Miller Park B&B and the annual three-day ‘Saved’ Trash and Treasure sale during Applefest. The funds received from the PHMC grant are designated to replace all of the roof shingles, install much needed gutters and downspouts and to restore the existing eaves. This work continues and is about eighty percent complete.

At the moment, while the world deals with the pandemic, Franklin Preservation is relying on social media and on-line events such as ‘Bridge Builders Week of Giving’ to support restoration efforts. The group’s restoration committee is optimistic that its annual events will resume. The next phase of restoration is the front facade and the stained glass windows. A new paint color scheme is in the works which will begin the transformation of Franklin’s newest  landmark so that it can be reopened to the public. 

Donations Make a Difference! 

Due to the pandemic, Franklin Preservation could not hold fundraisers and as a result, our funds are limited. Despite that, we utilized grant money and donations which allowed us to continue renovations on the former Lutheran Church in 2020. There is a new roof and gutters, a new entrance roof and a solid tower structure. Take a look as you drive by.

 Bridge Builders Week of Giving is coming up from March 15 –19. Please consider renewing your membership at that time or just consider a donation. The website can be found below. Monies raised during this time are accrued into a larger pool and individual organizations not only receive their specific donations but also a share of the matched funds. Donations via check should be made out to BBCF and in the memo line state Week of Giving Franklin Preservation. Checks must be received by March 19 to be included in the matching funds.

Keystone Grant features photos of Franklin Preservation’s work

The Pennsylvania Keystone Fund used the work on the Former Old Lutheran Church as an example of how to submit photos while requesting funding. You can check out the article by clicking the link.…/

Franklin Preservation received a matching Keystone grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission for the replacement of the roof, the installation of new gutters and downspouts and the restoration of the soffit and fascia.

Renovation Exploration Tour

Samuel Dale House, Franklin PA

The Renovation Exploration Tour planned for May 2 has been cancelled. We hope to reschedule it for a new date in 2021. New owners of the Samuel H. Dale House, Bob Sagnol and Molly Stahlman have graciously agreed to open their home for the Tour. The house has garnered much interest as it returns to its former glory. Bob and Molly want to share the journey of old house restoration with the public. Our members will receive a substantial discount on tickets for the tour.

Keep the Momentum Going!

Make a donation during the BBCF Week of Giving, March 16 -20

Progress on restoring the Old Lutheran Church Tower

We are making great strides in restoring the a Old Lutheran Church.  But  we need your support to keep it going.  Please consider making a  donation during the BBCF Week of Giving, March 16-20.  All donations will be used  to help finish the Tower restoration.  Donate here:

To date, Franklin Preservation has removed the stained glass windows from the front of the building.  They are being re-glazed, re-framed and painted. We began work on the Tower in July of 2019. This work included removing and replacing rotten corner boards, sills and siding with new structural material. Using old photos of the building, the architectural detailing will be recreated to match the original using updated materials. A new stoop, stone masonry, stairs and handrails are planned. The front doors will be refurbished and painted and given new hardware. There will be a new railing at the top of the Tower.  Franklin Preservation hopes to recreate the original “Bell Tower” roof from 1886. We have received a matching City of Franklin historic preservation grant to help accomplish some of these items.  In addition, we received a matching grant from the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission that will allow us to begin the replacement of the roof and add a gutter system on the Church portion of the building. 

Divine Intervention Party Saturday January 11

Join us for some winter cheer!  Your donation will help continue the restoration of this historic 1886 building

Join us this Saturday, January 11 from 5- 9 PM for some post holiday cheer at our Divine Intervention cocktail party.  Held at The Miller Park B&B in historic Miller Park in Franklin, this party will be a warm and welcoming event. Enjoy delicious appetizers and a naughty or nice drink by the fireside while listening to music by pianist Nat Licht    Admission is by donation. Funds raised  will benefit the restoration of the 1886 Stick Style building located on the corner of Buffalo and 11th Street, formerly known as the Old Lutheran Church. Valet parking will be available since there is no parking in Miller Park.  Raffle tickets with prizes of  $1000, $300 and $200 will be will be sold during the evening. Winners will be drawn at the end of the evening.  You do not have to be present to win.

If you prefer to not use valet parking, the closest parking is on the 1500 block of Buffalo Street, the 1500 block of Liberty Street, and on 16th Street between Elk and Liberty Streets. The 1500 block of Buffalo Street is very steep.

Historic Homes Holiday Tour

Visit the beautifully decorated interiors of several historic mansions In Franklin, PA! This tour includes several of the mansions of Miller Park and a few of the grand houses located in the historic district of Franklin, PA. Each of the eight houses on the tour will feature unique Christmas decorations. Tours will run on Saturday, December 21 from 11 AM to 5 PM and on Sunday, December 22 from Noon to 4 PM. The tour begins at the Peddler

s and Paddlers Inn, where participants must exchange their tickets for brochures with locations and descriptions of the homes on the tour. Participants can board a free shuttle bus to visit the homes in the Miller Park section of historic Franklin, where parking is not available, and also ride the shuttle to the other home locations. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door, if they are not sold out. They can be purchased online via Eventbrite and at the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Olive Vault in the Liberty Building, 1243 Liberty Street in Franklin. Proceeds support historic preservation in Franklin. More information is available here.

Old Lutheran Church Tower reconstruction is underway!

Thanks to our generous donors, we have been able to begin the restoration of the Church Tower. Franklin Preservation was also awarded a $27,000 matching grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to be used to replace the roof. See our newsletter below for more information. If you are viewing the newsletter on a computer , click on it to enable the scrolling controls. To view the newsletter in full screen, click on the 4 way arrows on the bottom tool bar.