October 15, 2020 WGNS Radio
Alan and Beth Morris, owners of 406 N Academy and the second recipients of the Rutherford County Tax Abatement Program, recently finished renovations of their beautiful home, originally built in 1850.
Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron, Property Assessor Rob Mitchell, and Rutherford County Historian Greg Tucker, toured the home on October 6 along with the Morris’ lender and contractor responsible for a large portion of the project including the front porch and balcony.
When asked what first attracted the Morris’ to the property, Beth said, “We were looking at older homes that we thought might be fun to renovate. Alan found this one and suggested we go see it. It was promising because it was so classic!”
It was a goal of theirs to keep the historical aesthetics and use as many of the existing materials as possible. “My favorite feature of our home is the staircase,” said Beth. “It is sturdy, doesn’t squeak, and is pretty amazing to see.”
Beth also mentioned two brick archways which were added after removing some of the walls to make the house feel more open and commented on her “cool new bathroom.” “We used the original claw foot tub and pedestal sink and used the original porch boards as a wall treatment.”
The Morris family also really loves their front porch. “We loved it so much that we made two stories,” added Beth.
Alan and Beth both confess that this project was a labor of love. “This was a two-year project with many ups and downs during the renovation process,” said Beth. “We started with basic plans and were pleased that we had so few surprises.”
Beth was hands-on during the process and spent many days painting, staining, and working with the renovation crews.
Though the main projects are all complete, there are a few minor other details to complete, including lime washing the brick and some landscaping updates.
“We are very grateful for Rutherford County residents like the Morris family, who strive to preserve the history of our downtown Murfreesboro properties,” said Mayor Ketron. “The home was beautifully renovated, and I know Alan and Beth are proud to show off their hard work!”
History of the Home
“The Crockett House” is located on one of the original lots of Murfreesboro and was plotted by William Lytle in the year 1818. The front of the house, which includes the current two-story brick house, was built in 1850. Not much was recorded about the home prior to Lou Crockett’s purchase of the property in 1873. The Crocketts sold the property to the H.H. Kerr family and it remained in their daughter Katherine Riggs’ possession until Neil McClain sold it to Alan and Beth Morris (current owners).
Beth Morris says when they viewed the house with the realtor, an engineer came along and was amazed at what good shape it was in structurally.
The Morris family kept the existing structure in place and removed plaster to show off old brick throughout. They created a large, spacious kitchen and used wood from the porch to add accents.
Pocket doors in the parlor were kept, and the fireplaces were stripped to show off their grandeur. All windows were rebuilt to maintain integrity and bring a cozy and elegant feel to the property.
The back room, once a utility room, was converted into an inviting dining room with exposed brick to show the multiple phases of growth and different types of brick used.
There was a room with water damage on the ceiling. It is now an elegant gathering room adorned with arches giving it height and beauty.
A claw foot tub was refurbished from the original bathroom and is now the center piece of the guest bathroom downstairs. The bathroom displays flooring from the front porch and adds a colorful complement to the refurbished tub and sink.
There is a new master suite, master bath, laundry and garage to bring common elements to the house while keeping the historic elements in place, marrying the old with the new.
Some of the existing floors were removed due to the additions with new, similar flooring being added and existing floors were sanded and refinished.
Bedrooms upstairs were kept intact, and bathrooms were added to both rooms along with a heated hobby/storage room on the second floor over the dining room.
All electrical, plumbing, and environmental systems were replaced with gas heat downstairs and heat pumps for the upstairs.
A second story balcony was added and driveway for the main garage and a patio was completed from the kitchen. A second driveway for guests is in process of completion.
The home will also receive a historic landscaping update to be consistent with the period and additional modern elements in the side and rear of the home. The couple consulted a historic landscape architect for this portion of the project.
Historic Home Tax Abatement Program
Rutherford County was the first in Tennessee to establish a property tax abatement program in accordance with TN Code § 67-5-218 (2017).
“The people of Rutherford County have made a commitment to protecting and understanding our shared history and heritage,” said Rutherford County Historian Greg Tucker of the tax abatement program. “Local history is not only popular today, but it is clearly good business…It touches where we live, work, and socialize. [It] encourages civic pride and can often entertain and explain…The best evidence of our local history is what remains to remind and instruct.”
If you would like more information about the Historic Property Tax Abatement Program, its requirements, or the application process, please visit https://rcpatn.com/historical-properties-tax-abatement.html or contact the Property Assessor’s Office at 615-898-7750.