The simple brick house on West Jefferson Street had always caught Victoria Vennetti’s eye, even before she lived in Franklin.

She would come to the city for events and business, and each time she drove by the unique Craftsman-English Tudor style home with its shady porch and tile roof, she was captivated.

When it became available, she and her husband, Patrick Vennetti, jumped at the chance to buy it.

“It had great bones,” she said. “We envisioned ourselves living here someday.”

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The former doctor’s office-turned- insurance agency has been adapted into a beautifully restored home.

For its historical look, and the care with which she has maintained the fern-adorned porch and yard, Vennetti received a Community Pride Award from the preservation group Franklin Heritage.

“You could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out I had won,” she said.

Franklin Heritage started the Community Pride Award program in June, awarding monthly accolades to those who have lovingly maintained these historic structures.

The Vennettis purchased the home as a location for their insurance business. They loved the location on one of Franklin’s main thoroughfares, loved the historic style of the house and thought it offered much potential for refurbishment.

Walls were removed, rooms were opened up, and new spaces were created. Structural beams had to be installed. Victoria Vennetti tore up the carpet to reveal the wooden floors underneath.

“It was pretty chopped up before, but I’m hoping we’ve kept some of the original historic stuff,” she said.

Three bedrooms, a library and a kitchen were carved out of the existing office area.

“It’s an old house. We had to redo electrical, plumbing, put in smoke directors that are hardwired,” she said. “But I wanted it to be right. I wanted it to be the same aesthetically with some modern touches.”

Patrick Vennetti died in 2012, so Victoria Vennetti lives in the downstairs part by herself. The upstairs is a separate apartment, where Vennetti’s daughter, Billi Jo Carver, lives.

“It has some character and it’s cozy. It’s big enough for me, and I’m happy here,” Vennetti said.

At a glance

597 W. Jefferson St., Franklin

Owner: Victoria Vennetti

Style: Craftsman-English Tudor blend

Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.