The opportunity to own such an exceptional property as Walnut Hill very rarely comes along. The Greek Revival home, built in 1858, sits on 66 verdant acres in northwest Williamson County and effortlessly combines the architectural magnificence of the past with the best of modern living. It may sound far away in terms of time and place, but the Old Hillsboro Road property is only 5 miles from historic downtown Franklin.
The current owners have spent the past 20 years lovingly and meticulously bringing the property back to historical accuracy. Using resources such as 1890s photographs, they replaced features like the front porch with period and architecturally correct materials. New construction, which begins at the back porch, blends seamlessly with the original structure. The pool and carriage houses were built using exact replica materials, including handmade brick, moulding and doors, and demonstrate the owners’ commitment to combining the best of the past and the present. The pool house also holds the guest quarters, and the carriage house has a media room.
The main structure has abundant space for entertaining, with two parlors, a library, a dining room, a spacious kitchen and a sunroom. One of the five bedrooms is located on the first floor, while the others are upstairs. There is almost 7,500 square feet of living space that still has original flooring, moulding and doors, including walnut pocket doors. Among the period-accurate restorations are the Zuber wall covering in the entry, paint colors, chandeliers and carpet, while the kitchen, bathrooms and closets have been brought up to 21st century ideals.
The stunning grounds received equal attention and dedication to accuracy. Landscape architect Duncan Callicott, Cheekwood’s former executive director of horticulture, assisted with design for the extensive gardens, including the vegetable garden with fence, a lavender garden and the formal gardens' almost 2,000 boxwoods. Two barns are examples of the outbuildings built to resemble historic structures of the same period, and the potting shed used to be the privy at another Greek Revival home. Wide brick paths and cast iron benches and urns add extra touches to the grounds.
Walnut Hill offers an extraordinary opportunity to enjoy the best of the past and the present. This historic property is renovated to perfection with the best materials and today’s family living in mind.
Photographs by Showcase Photographers