Heritage Foundation of Williamson County helps developer find buyer to save Owen-Primm House

Owen-Primm House
Posted at 5:04 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 22:27:22-05

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WTVF) — After conversations with the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, a developer found a buyer for the historic Owen-Primm House, which was set to be demolished.

"The great thing about this story is we were able to talk about the importance of preservation and find a solution with this developer," said Bari Beasley, CEO of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County.

The Owen-Primm House dates back to 1806.

In December, the new owner asked the city of Brentwood for a permit to demolish the home and two barns on the property.

Because the city has an ordinance that protects historic properties from being demolished immediately, the developer had to wait 90 days to tear down the buildings.

"Everybody would like the city to step in and save every historic property and operate it, but that is not always practical," said Jill Burgin, former mayor of Brentwood.

Burgin was Brentwood's mayor from 2017-2019. She now works with the Heritage Foundation.

"The house is in a serious state of disrepair now but is a perfect opportunity to show the advantages of historic preservation... It's just an incredible treasure," Burgin said.

The Heritage Foundation announced Tuesday that the developer will be selling the buildings to a family that plans to restore them.

"I think that a lot of time, if the dialogue is right and there is positive communication, there are usually really great outcomes," Beasley said.

A second developer owns the two slave cabins on the land. According to the Heritage Foundation, the developer is keeping them as-is and will add a historical marker. That developer will build two dozen homes on the property.

"We're not opposed to development, but we want to work with developers when development does come to make sure it is smart development," Beasley said.