What exactly is the Factory at Franklin?

Answer: The Coolest Place Ever.

It seems we get this question a lot.  We boast that we are housed in the Factory at Franklin and it occurred to us that if you have never been there, you probably have no idea just how cool it is!  Not  only is our Institute housed there, but it also has creativity and art spewing out of every crack.

The History

The Factory at FranklinThe Factory was built in 1929 and served as the home of Dortch Stove Works, Magic Chef and later the Jamison Bedding Company.  A member of the National Register of Historic Places, The Factory is rich with history and a very careful renovation has preserved many of The Factory’s original features and architectural details.

Developer Calvin Lehew, who by the way was Al Gore Jr’s Babysitter, bought the building 35 years ago and wanted to create a creative center for Franklin.  Calvin’s philosophy is simple: “The Factory is for artists and creative folks. What I want to do is bring out more of the artist in people. I want an environment here that is conducive to creativity. We have about 11 learning centers here. To be able to open a place in The Factory it either has to be creative, unique, artistic, musical or food. We have five restaurants here. Even our offices here fit that theme.”

The Arts

The Factory houses every type of art from painting and sculpting to music and theater.  There is even a church and the occasional Cabaret!  It is also the home of Artisan Guitars who creates some of

Artisan Guitars

the most beautiful and sought after instruments on the planet.  Lehew’s vision was to offer a building where people can learn as well as be entertained.  In Fact some of the largest names in the Industry have performed at the Factory including: Amy Grant, Peter Cetera, For King and Country and many more!  Need proof?  Here’s Amy Grant Crowd Surfing.

Learning at the Factory

The Factory houses more than one educational facility, we are in good company with O’More College along with many fine art and entertainment instructors as well.  It is also a great place to bring kids to learn.  This goes along with Mr. Lehew’s Vision,

“We have learning centers for children where they come in and make pottery or take music and painting lessons. Kids need to create something themselves to build a positive self-image. I don’t want this to be a shopping center. I want it to appeal to the creative, right brain. I want to bring out things in people that they didn’t know they had. I think we do an injustice to our children by not letting them go the route they want to go. So much religious teaching makes us feel unworthy. But Jesus said, ‘I come to give you life and give it more abundantly.’ Young people need to know that they are worthy of being whatever they aspire to be.”

Along with ceramic painting and performance classes, there is also an ice cream shop, The Sweet Shop, where you can get the greatest malt on the face of the earth!  Be sure to check out the incredible Farmer’s Market Saturday mornings for great food, live entertainment, crafts and some of the best fried dough you will ever taste.

Next time you are down in Franklin, you HAVE to plan a day at the Factory.

We love everything about it, but what is YOUR favorite feature of the Factory?  Let us know below!  And don’t forget to stop in and say “Hi” to Tony and Carolan!


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