Rehabber Club members tackle wood window repair during a certification course. Credit: Courtesy / Office of Historic Preservation

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We love our historic neighborhoods, and with good reason. A little more than two years ago the Office of Historic Preservation released a study of the economic and social benefits of historic preservation in San Antonio. The study confirms that historic preservation not only makes good economic sense, it also builds strong, vibrant communities. Preservation plays a major role in long-term neighborhood stability. As a whole, our older neighborhoods also tend to be more diverse and a model for sustainable growth.

That why we are so excited to announce that Rehabarama will take place on May 13.

Ongoing maintenance is critical, and sometimes it can be more than homeowners can manage on their own. Walter Bowman, a long-time resident in the Dignowity Hill Historic District, finds that owning an old house can be both a blessing and a challenge. Through OHP’s S.T.A.R. Project, Bowman received assistance with window repair, siding repair, and exterior paint.

“It’s a joy to be able to accommodate the rehab efforts – it’s rewarding,” Bowman said. Receiving assistance with home repairs reminded him of “back in the day when neighbors helped their neighbors.” Well said, Mr. Bowman!

We believe that old houses should be viewed as opportunities. We as a community have the opportunity to support unique and diverse neighborhoods that contribute to the quality and character of our great city. We have the opportunity to provide safe and meaningful spaces that our residents can call home. The City understands that maintaining and improving a historic property can come with challenges. That’s why we believe in equipping our homeowners with the tools and skills they need to be successful and in providing community resources that address common issues with historic or aging properties.

We are also committed to building and supporting a coalition of “rehabbers” consisting of local contractors and professionals experienced in the rehabilitation of historic buildings to provide quality service to historic home owners. Just last year, OHP launched the Rehabber Club to create a network of qualified contractors and provide training and certifications that enable quality professional services. Now we’re ready to expand on this idea in a big way.

Rehabarama is a single-day event where volunteers, local contractors, students, and neighborhood leaders will join together to revitalize and restore an entire city block. Think of it like a neighborhood work day on steroids. Taking place on May 13 during Preservation Month, Rehabarama will provide assistance to homes in the historic neighborhood of Denver Heights on the city’s Eastside. Denver Heights is a strong community and a great place to live and work. We are excited to provide assistance to its residents by tackling repair and maintenance issues. The day closes with a fun block party at Pittman-Sullivan Park that is open to everyone.

Rehabarama is quickly gaining support from many different partners, sponsors, and contractors with a mission to revitalize our neighborhoods and assist residents in need.

Title sponsor Guido Building Materials is enthusiastic about playing a role in the event. “The Guido Company has been a part of the city’s thriving history since 1927. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Guido Building Materials and we wanted to celebrate this special anniversary by giving back to the community that has given us so much,” said Chris Guido, president of Guido Building Materials. “Rehabarama represents so much more than the makeover at Denver Heights. It is evidence that our residents want to give back and be involved in our communities and – in a time when there appears to be so much division – that San Antonio can come together to improve our communities. Guido is proud to be associated with Rehabarama, and even prouder to be a locally owned San Antonio Company. Rehabarama is a great step toward furthering the amazing city we all call home.”

Significant contributions have also been made by Frost Bank, SAWS, Pape-Dawson Engineers, KFW Engineers, the Pearl, Whataburger, and H-E-B.

“Frost Bank supports the City of San Antonio’s Office of Historic Preservation’s efforts to revitalize areas of need on the Eastside of San Antonio not only with funding, but also by providing volunteers to help on the day of the event,” said Donna C. Normandin, senior vice president of Frost Bank. “A core value of Frost is caring, and we care about all areas of our community. Our volunteers enjoy the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with local partners and residents to assist in improving neighborhoods for those that live there.”

In addition to corporate sponsorships and volunteer groups, leadership is emerging from the development community as well. Real estate developer David Adelman is supporting Rehabarama at the “Adopt a House” level and has committed to leading rehab efforts for that property.

“One of the reasons our city will prosper for a long time to come is we have a great legacy of historic preservation, ” he said. “It is the historic canvas that will play a solid role in making our city special and unique. “That is why we are supporting Rehabarama.” Houses have also been adopted by CVF Homes, AO Design, South Antonio Builders, Straight Line Management, Wood Window Makeover, Guy Chipman Construction, and Architectural Interiors.

Work continues to build the army of volunteers needed to make a lasting impact on the neighborhood. You can support this event by making a one-time donation, becoming a volunteer contractor, providing in-kind materials or services, adopting a house, or simply by signing up as a volunteer. To learn more, click here.

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Shanon Shea Miller

Shanon Shea Miller is the Historic Preservation Officer for the City of San Antonio and Director of the Office of Historic Preservation. OHP’s education and outreach programs focus on building communities,...