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.