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About HCNA

Mission Statement
 
The mission is to restore and preserve the neighborhood as a historical asset of Cleveland & Bradley County.  Further, the intent is to improve the quality of life of the neighborhood and preserve property value while enhancing the historic character and quality of place.  This will require coordination and cooperation with the City, MainStreet Cleveland, and Lee University.

History 


Larry Presswood and Mary Frances Armstrong were the original proponents of organizing a neighborhood association. Larry had worked in the Cleveland City Planners Office and had moved to Centenary Avenue. Mary Frances and her family had lived on Centenary for years before. Larry, from his experience as a planner, understood what could be accomplished by a neighborhood association and what it took to organize one. Mary Frances, who was well known and active throughout the community simply was interested in preserving her neighborhood, which she believed was an asset to Cleveland in many ways. In 2001 they began making contacts to see if anyone else was interested.

The response was immediate, positive and substantial. In the Spring of 2002 the HCNA elected its first officers, adopted By-laws and applied for its charter from the State. Realizing it needed professional help, it retained Dr. George Bowen, a professor and specialist in planning at UT, to advise the HCNA and prepare a neighborhood plan. Following a series of public meetings attended by HCNA members and other in which Dr. Bowen collected information from participants about what they saw as pluses and minuses in the Neighborhood, the things they wanted to change, do away with or improve, in 2004 the HCNA adopted, published and presented to the City Council for its information, a detailed Neighborhood Plan. In it the HCNA identified goals for the organization dealing with Arnold School, sidewalks, streets and traffic, zoning, development and codes enforcement, the Greenway, Deer Park, recreation, green space, signage and many other issues Dr. Bowen's survey had brought to light.

Some of our Highlights….

Together with the City Planning Office and the Tennessee Historical Commission, the HCNA was a major contributor to, and supporter of, the creation of the Cleveland Historic Commission. That organization, an arm of the City of Cleveland, sees that construction and renovation carried on in a designated area within the boundaries of the HCNA is legally appropriate and compatible with the historic character of the area.

The HCNA has always supported Arnold School, recognizing that having a strong school in the neighborhood was central to having a healthy neighborhood. With the encouragement of the HCNA, in 2005 the City Board of Education authorized $4.5 million dollars for renovation of Arnold School. Before that Superintendent Denning had appointed Kellye Bender to serve as principal of the historic school.

Since it was organized, the HCNA has enjoyed a strong relationship with Lee University and its administration. The President of Lee, Dr. Conn, is a member of the HCNA. Lee faculty and administrators live in the Neighborhood and are members of the Association. Recognizing that issues do sometimes arise between "town and gown”, Dr. Conn has designated a member of his staff as a liaison to the HCNA and to server as a contact when issues do arise involving Lee students and the Neighborhood. Generally these are noise, parking or housing. Lee's "Open Door” policy and its "Hotline” have served both the HCNA and University very well.

The list of other projects the HCNA supported that have come about are:

1. Expansion of the Greenway
2. New sidewalk from Arnold School to Deer Park
3. Installation throughout the HCNA's boundaries of stop
 
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