Learn About

Discover Downtown Franklin, Inc.

Since Franklin, Indiana was featured in the December 2, 1940 issue of Life magazine, our downtown has been considered a special destination in Central Indiana.

The quaint restaurants and locally-owned shops have been a gathering place for generations. Visitors love a classic movie at the Historic Artcraft Theatre, concerts at our new amphitheater and car shows on the square.

Discover Downtown Inc works to preserve and promote the businesses and support the city's effort to make the downtown beautiful and inviting.

Welcome to Franklin, Indiana

Franklin has a rich history, dating back to its founding in 1823. We benefit from being close to the amenities of a major metropolitan area - Indianapolis - and the comforts and convenience of a small town. Our people are friendly, diverse and engaged.

Victorian mansions line King and Jefferson streets, and our trails provide opportunities for a quiet walk or a scenic jog.

We also are a community on the move. Our pro-business attitude and strategic location have attracted companies globally, including seven Japanese corporations.


Images from LIFE magazine feature on downtown Franklin, Indiana in 1940.


A Main Street Community

Discover Downtown Franklin Inc. is nationally accredited through the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Main Street Program is a proven method of downtown revitalization throughout the country. Its success is based on the 4 Point Approach:

Economic Restructuring




Jess Giles

Executive Director

Jess joined DDF in February 2020 as Executive Director. She is a lifelong resident of Franklin. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University where she was a Division I volleyball player.



Madeline Grosh

Marketing Coordinator

Madeline recently bought a home with her fiancee and three cats. A photographer by trade, she enjoys reading and hiking in her spare time. She is incredibly excited to grow and explore within the Franklin community!


Board of Directors

Joe Kelly, President
Kelly Promotional Products

Jake Sappenfield, Vice-President 
First Financial Bank

Rosie Chambers, Secretary
Franklin Chamber of Commerce

Stephanie Wagner, Treasurer
Johnson County Community Foundation


Krista Linke
City of Franklin

Robin Betts
Franklin Community Schools

Rob Shilts
Franklin Heritage

Carolyn Williams
Community Volunteer


Dana Monson
City of Franklin

Polly Jones
Miss Polly's Music Class

Emily Wood
Franklin College

Toni Breeden
Podiatry Associates of Indiana

Our Committees


Our goal is to get downtown Franklin into top physical shape. Capitalizing on its best assets, such as historic buildings and the traditional downtown layout.  

We are focusing on an inviting atmosphere created by window displays, parking areas, signs, sidewalks, street lights and landscaping to convey a visual message about what Downtown Franklin is and what it has to offer.

Chair: Danny Causey

Meetings: Second Tuesday of each month at 3 p.m. on the Third Floor of Franklin City Hall.

Economic Vitality

Our goal is to identify new market opportunities for downtown Franklin, find new uses for historic commercial properties, and stimulate investment in downtown property.

Chair: Krista Linke

Meetings: Second Friday of each month at 8:30 a.m. on the Third Floor of Franklin City Hall.


Our goal is to keep the board and each committee in good standing by attracting people and funding to the organization.  The Organization Committee takes responsibility for managing the financial and logistical aspects of Discover Downtown Franklin.

Chair: Joe Kelly

Meetings: Third Wednesday of each month at  9:30 a.m. on the Third Floor of Franklin City Hall.


Our goal is to promote Downtown Franklin as the center of commerce, culture and community life for residents and visitors alike.

Chair: Dana Monson

Meetings: First Thursday of each month at 8:15 a.m. in the Franklin City Council Chambers.

Our  Partners