Franklin’s Historic District is one of Pennsylvania’s architectural gems with more than 200 significant buildings, representing-over 20 different styles of architecture.  Franklin Preservation fosters the preservation of  these historic homes and buildings that connect us to our heritage, create community pride, and attract visitors to Historic Franklin.
Carpenter Gothic style home on Elk St.
Carpenter Gothic style home on Elk St.

At the epicenter of oil production in the 1860’s, Franklin benefited from oil wealth resulting in the construction of stylish homes, grand buildings and public monuments, representing every major style of architecture from 1830-1930, including Greek Revival, Stick, Italianate, Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, Romanesque, Arts and Crafts, Folk Victorian, and Art Deco. The comprehensiveness of architectural styles and compactness of the Historic District surpasses that of most other communities.

Barrow Civic Theater. Art Deco style
Barrow Civic Theater. Art Deco style

In addition to their beautiful and varied architecture, the Historic Districts’ buildings are also of importance as a means of preserving a tangible link to the early oil industry in the region. The many oil derricks that once dotted the hillsides are gone along with the presence of major oil companies in the area. What remains are the homes and commercial buildings that represent that epoch.

General Charles Miller's Tudor mansion in Franklin's Miller Park. Circa 1900
General Charles Miller’s Tudor mansion in Franklin’s Miller Park. Circa 1900

Recognizing the city’s extensive architectural heritage, Franklin City Council passed an ordinance on January 15, 1979 to form Franklin’s Historic District.  The District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Chartered as a nonprofit in 1988, Franklin Preservation endeavors to maintain the integrity of Historic Franklin by supporting the preservation of its historic buildings and structures.

Major Accomplishments

  • Coordinated and financed the restoration of the Venango County Civil War Monument.
  • Purchased the Old Lutheran Church to save it from possible demolition.
  • Saved the best example of a Saltbox House from demolition by­ moving it to Justus Recreation Trail in Cranberry Township.
  • Added bronze plaques at the base of the Civil War Monument in South Park.
  • Compiled a photographic documentation of all historic structures in the Historic District.
  • Contributed toward the restoration of Egbert Memorial Fountain.
  • Nominated, researched and erected a Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission marker for the Galena-Signal Oil Company.
  • Placed an historic mural in the HFPA Alley.
  • Replaced the James Borland Memorial Bird Bath in South Park with a replica.

Franklin Preservation promotes and preserves our city with the following ongoing efforts

  •  Maintenance of the Venango County Civil War Monument
  • Planning and fundraising for the restoration of the Old Lutheran Church
  •  Plaque Program dating significant homes and other structures.
  •  Presentations of preservation and history programs.
  • Annual field trip for local high school students highlighting Franklin preservation.
  •  A Quilt and Fiber Arts Show to raise funds for preservation efforts.
  • A Divine Intervention Holiday Fundraiser.