We live in Cleveland’s oldest residential neighborhood and want to preserve our beautiful area for the present and the future. This neighborhood is where Cleveland began.”

Mary Frances Armstrong
President HCNA, May 2002

HCNA Mission Statement

The Historic Cleveland Neighborhood Association is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to restore and preserve the neighborhood as a historical asset of Cleveland and Bradley County; while improving the quality of life of the neighborhood, preserving property value, enhancing the historic character as well as quality of place.

This has and continues to require coordination and cooperation with the City, Mainstreet Cleveland, and Lee University.


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 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 gauge interest.

The response was immediate, positive and substantial. In the Spring of 2002, the HCNA elected its first officers and applied for its charter from the State.


Original HCNA Officers 

President-Mary France Armstrong

Vice-President-Mike Callaway

Secretary-Amy Banks

Treasurer-Ian Harper

Committee Chairs

Social Committee Chair– Jim Parks

Education-Buck Thorogood and Sam McReynolds

Public Safety & Works-Bob Graham

Communications-Tucker Duncan

Parks & Recreation-Matt Brown

Planning & Development-Larry Presswood

HCNA’s Impact

Realizing the need for professional help, HCNA retained Dr. George Bowen, a professor and specialist in planning at University of Tennessee to advise the HCNA and prepare a neighborhood plan.

Following a series of public meetings attended by HCNA members and others, Dr. Bowen collected information from participants about what they saw as assets and liabilities for the neighborhood and ways to improve the quality of life, preserve property values, and enhance historic character. In 2004, after six months involving hundreds of people, the HCNA adopted, published and presented to the City for its information, the detailed Neighborhood Policy Plan.

In the plan, HCNA identified goals to assist the City and neighborhood in improving, restoring, and preserving the neighborhood assets and addressing existing problems and issues. The plan is accomplished in several dimensions simultaneously-planning, code enforcement, parks & recreation, public safety & public works, education, urban design, and communication, both internal and external.

View The Neighborhood Plan

“Our members and leaders of the Association are excited. The Plan is important because it serves as a blueprint for both improvements and preservation in the neighborhood. It provides the City Manager and his department heads with specific improvements the neighborhood wants to see and a sense of their priority.” 

Mike Callaway
President HCNA, March 20,2004

Neighborhood Milestones

Arnold Renovation

In 2005 encouraged and supported efforts with the Cleveland City School Board which resulted in a $4.5 million dollars for the renovation of the 1929 historic building .

Arnold Additional Amenities

Supported a new school sign, auditorium sound system, playground table for outdoor reading

Arnold Volunteers

Throughout the years, members have volunteered in the classrooms and for school events such as the 2018 Bike to School event.

Arnold Portrait Restoration

In 2015, the restoration of D.C. Arnold’s century old portrait & ornate guilt frame. Portrait was done by renown East TN artist, Lloyd Branson.

Arnold Flagpole

In 2018, organized community businesses and donated to the relocation and re-dedication of the flag pole and sitting area that had become obscured by mature trees.

Stop Signs

Decorative historic stop signs throughout the neighborhood

Crepe Myrtles

Ocoee Street Flowering Crepe Myrtles for summer color and winter landscape appeal

Elm Trees

Planting over 100 Princeton Elm trees in downtown area yards to provide shade and beauty for sidewalks.

HCNA Branding

Artist Helen Burton designed the pineapple and ivy logo.

Historic Markers

HCNA designed the Historic Home Marker promoting individual home’s history.

Bradley County Greenway

HCNA has aways supported the Greenway, an important link to our neighborhood promoting access for walkers and bicycles.

Main & Historic Library Branches

HCNA has supported and donated to the preservation renovations of the Historic Library Branch and several Main Library projects such as the Library Corner and Brick Fundraiser.

Parks and Sidewalks

HCNA was instrumental in past improvements of Deer Park including the 2014 climbing wall mural and the 2019 volunteer work day for recent major park renovation.  Advocated for new sidewalks for better walkability to and from Arnold school and Deer Park.

Adverse Issues

As issues arise that could be detrimental to the neighborhood, HCNA has worked with appropriate entities and opposed when necessary, such as cell tower location in 2010 and City Hall move in 2012.

R-1 Zoning

HCNA continues the preservation of R-1 zoning by opposing further multi-family and other zoning encroachments into the historic neighborhood.

Community Relations Coordinator
The Department of Community Relations Coordinator serves as a liaison for issues that may arise between “town and gown” such as noise, parking or housing. 

Spring Home Tour
Since 2007, many residents of HCNA have opened their homes to over 3500 history seeking guests for the tour organized by Dr. John Coats and the students of the history department.

Support of University
Many downtown residents enjoy and appreciate the amenities Lee University brings from concerts and events to educational opportunities

“Neighborhood appearance was one of the attractions of Lee University…Just seeing how it’s kept up and preserved really does make a difference when people drive through and see it. Somebody is responsible for all that…taken steps to keep it that way.”

Lauren Wessel
Senior Public Relations Major
Lee University, March 2010

 Cleveland Historic Preservation Commission
HCNA was a major steward in the creation of this City of Cleveland entity which reviews all new construction, renovations, relocation, or demolition to ensure architecture integrity. 

Rooming House Ordinance & Parking Overlay Ordinance
Put in place to maintain the integrity of the R-1 zoning regulating no more than “four” unrelated people living in a home and to stop parking in yards and areas other than driveways.

Codes Enforcement
HCNA residents are also committed to continuing enforcement of building and housing codes and addressing the neglect of rental properties.

Half Marathon & 5k
HCNA supports the City of Cleveland’s 5-K marathon yearly with a water station set up in the neighborhood.

“We are thrilled to have the Historic Preservation Commission, a government organization which is a tool to preserve historic areas and protect architectural heritage. It helps the stabilization and improvement of property values, provides review for proposed demolition and encourages tourism and economic development.”

Amy Banks
HCNA President, June 2010

Historic Stop Signs
With the encouragement of HCNA, Mainstreet Cleveland continued the “historic stop sign” project and now flank the corners of downtown streets.

Seasonal Banners
HCNA has a year-round (two seasons) banner on Ocoee Street in downtown continuing to support Mainstreet Cleveland.

Support of Downtown
HCNA has wholeheartedly supported dining, shopping, and cultural attractions for the downtown district from chef-owned restaurants, coffee shops, farmers’ market, boutique shopping, the museum, vintage car show, and season festivals providing great opportunities for convenient living. 

Over 700 homes from 25th Street to Central Avenue and Church Street to Keith Street.




Jennie Kirkpatrick

Amy Banks

Candy Scoggins

Margot Still / Historic Library&Archives 

Tiffany Pendergrass


Over 700 homes from 25th Street to Central Avenue and Church Street to Keith Street.

Site Design by Clear Surf Marketing


Addt'l. Photo Credits

Jennie Kirkpatrick

Amy Banks

Candy Scoggins

Margo Still / Historic  Library Branch

Tiffany Pendergrass


Over 700 homes from 25th Street to Central Avenue and Church Street to Keith Street.


Addt'l. Photo Credits

Jennie Kirkpatrick

Amy Banks

Candy Scoggins

Margo Still / Historic  Library Branch

Tiffany Pendergrass


Site Design by Clear Surf Marketing