Franklin, Indiana is a really great place to live. I didn’t understand how great it is until we moved to town two years ago. I just thought it was a place to go Krogering and for the boss to go to the library but since moving onto the reservation I have found Franklin to be a wonderful city. A city you can be proud to say you live in. We are blessed with a city that has forward looking leaders who have not forgotten the history of the place we all call home. I believe that Franklin is a place of rebirth striving to maintain the wonderful history of the past and creating a path to the future. Just look around and you will witness the changes almost daily.
I think it all started many years ago when the county commissioners made a critical and far reaching decision to restore the court house instead of tearing it down and replacing it with a “modern” building. Our beautiful court house is a building we can all point to with pride and I believe the center of all that is Franklin. One only has to look north at the magnificent changes made to Main St. and the remaking of the court house square and there is no doubt that Franklin is a city of change.
There are so many amenities in Franklin that it is difficult to list them all. It doesn’t matter where you are or where you look you can’t help but see the beauty and community spirit of this extraordinary city. The rebuilding and re-marketing of the court house square with the many new businesses and restaurants. Check out some of the new places on the square. The ladies can actually go “shopping” on the square just like years ago. The Artcraft Theater and the crowds it draws to the downtown when it shows the old movies. Franklin College, the east side landmark with the blend of old and new buildings in a tranquil setting that seems to set the stage for all that is Franklin. Our school system is outstanding, in my opinion; in the educational opportunities that are offered our children with the almost new high school that I used to refer to as the Taj Mahal because if it’s cost, is truly a state of the art facility that meets the needs of all our students. The Parks Department has made Franklin the envy of the central Indiana area. With the parks, the aquatic center, The Cultural Arts and Recreational Center, and the walking trails that are 2nd to none making the city a vibrant and fun place no matter your age.
We are also a caring city. The Franklin United Methodist Community, the Indiana Masonic Home, Johnson Memorial Hospital, senior citizens center, and many other nursing and rehab facilities. And it seems we have more than our share of bail bondsmen if I may be allowed a bit of humor.
The private sector also shows their pride in the many restored old beautiful homes and the way they keep their yards and flower/shrubbery beds. Even the businesses work hard to show off their beautiful landscaping in front of their business and interiors that show a pride of ownership. There are two businesses that I would ask you to take a really close look at to enjoy their pride, Kohl’s and Goodwill stores. The next time you’re by these stores drive behind the buildings. You will find an almost park like setting that I know cost lots of money to install and lots to maintain with no added value to their bottom line. I wish all businesses could show that much pride in making Franklin more beautiful.
The bottom line is that Franklin is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. But, all is not rosy. We have homeless folks and families young and old struggling to make ends meet and kids with no place to sleep. We have a few places that need some real urban renewal and there are always streets to fix and sidewalks to repair, an unending task that the mayor and his staff I’m sure work at every day to find ways to fund projects to benefit the most at the least cost.
My wish list for Franklin is that the three egresses into the city could be made as beautiful as Main Street. Jefferson St. from the west is mostly a private sector responsibility. Houses need to be remodeled and repainted and yards refreshed to enhance the view as one comes into the city. King Street from the Interstate to Jefferson St. really needs to be more inviting and this will take both private and public efforts and I understand that a project is being put in place to make this a reality. But, the biggest need is US 31. I know it’s a turf war between the city and state but surely somehow the city could take over Maintance of the right of ways for some form of compensation from the state and really make US 31 a pleasant experience because for some folks that’s all they ever see of Franklin. I can only imagine what the parks dept. could do with that assignment. Oh, and while the city talks to the state maybe they could discuss fixing the daily traffic jams in front of Krogers.
Enjoy Franklin because it is steadily becoming the place to go for unique food experiences and great entertainment, seems like there is always something Happening on the square. Share the city with your visitors. Take them on a tour and show off all the really neat thing Franklin has to offer. Send them home envious of where you live!
Thanks for listening.
*Note: I started this piece about 2 weeks ago and last week the AAA magazine, Home and Away, arrived with an outstanding article about our wonderful city. If you are not a member of AAA you should be because over the years I have received back in road side assistance more that I have paid for membership.