SAN ANTONIO, Texas —
Members of Joint Base San Antonio were among the 200 volunteers that took part in the second annual REHABARAMA in the Highland Park neighborhood April 7, sponsored by the City of San Antonio’s Office of Historic Preservation.
With the volunteers gathering at 1226 E. Highland Blvd., the event began with remarks from Rebecca Viagrán, District 3 councilwoman, and Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, commander, 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio.
REHABARAMA was concentrated on the 1100-1200 blocks of East Highland Boulevard, bounded by South New Braunfels Avenue to the west and South Gevers Street to the east.
“Twenty homeowners received much-needed assistance with exterior home repairs along the 1100 and 1200 blocks of East Highland Boulevard,” said Shanon Miller, OHP director. “In the spirit of neighborhood revitalization, REHABARAMA focuses on hands-on preservation of historic resources and serves as an educational tool for those interested in the preservation trades.”
In 2017, more than $200,000 worth of work was done on 18 houses by more than 200 volunteers in Denver Heights during REHABARAMA. The work included refreshing paint, repairing porches and windows, and addressing significant maintenance items.
San Antonio has a significant number of aging buildings and thousands of low- to moderate-income households struggling to keep up with simple repair and maintenance. At the same time, the number of skilled craftsmen specialized on historic and aging homes is rapidly decreasing.
“We’re really proud to be here today and serve Military City USA,” Pringle said. “More than 50 percent of the participating residents are veterans or retired military members, while 28 percent have worked in public service. In addition, 28 percent of the residents assisted are living with a disability.
“Giving back to these people who have already given to their country is really an honor,” Pringle added.
Common repair work includes painting, replacement of missing or deteriorating wood elements on decking, railing, columns, siding, skirting, and/or window screens, installation or refreshing of landscaping or site elements like fences, gates, planters and plantings.
The volunteers worked within an eight-hour time frame and received guidance from professional contractors and companies. Two homes also participated in a wood window restoration workshop prior to REHABARAMA March 30 and 31.
The land containing what is now Highland Park used to operate as dairy farms until the early 1900s. In 1909, the pastures were sold to six local developers under the name Highland Park Improvement Company. Several streets were named after these developers, including Hammond, Rigsby, Kayton, and Avant.
Development of the area peaked between World War I and World War II and a majority of the homes date to around 1925. At one point, Highland Park was the largest suburb in the city. It was serviced by the No. 10 streetcar until 1933 when it was replaced by bus service.