In the 25 years that Altagrazia Barragan has lived in her 1920s home on Monterey Street, she has only painted it once. But on Saturday, the chipping, yellow home was transformed with blue paint.
The free service provided by volunteers from UTSA, San Antonio College and local contractors was part of San Antonio’s annual Rehabarama. The single-day service event organized by the city’s Office of Historic Preservation unites local contractors and other volunteers to perform repairs and maintenance on older homes for people who may otherwise be unable to afford the work.
For Barragan, who lives on Social Security and recently had a heat stroke while working in her yard, the help is much appreciated and something that she has been looking forward to.
“I wish my heart could tell you how I feel,” said Barragan, 77. “It is just wonderful that they do this for people like me, a single person. I’m just grateful for everybody that’s helping.”
Barragan’s home was one of seven along Monterey Street that had work done on Saturday. Painting was a major part of the effort on many houses, but replacing windows, windowsills and rotting porch wood was also on the list of things to do. Most of the homes were built in the 1920s.
The first Rehabarama was held in 2017 according to Shanon Miller, director of the Office of Historic Preservation. The work completed Saturday had been slated for last year but was delayed until now largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the previous events, contractors, students and other volunteers had worked on about 20 homes, but Miller said the pandemic and contractor availability limited how many people could be reached this time. She added that the city will hold another Rehabarama this spring in the area.
The annual event is meant to be beneficial for both students, many of whom are studying architecture, and homeowners. Miller said Rehabarama also has helped the neighborhoods as the improvements have encouraged neighbors to start making changes to their houses, too.
“I think it’s really contagious when people start to reinvest and improve their neighborhoods, so that’s another thing we love to see,” Miller said.
The work completed on each home is worth about $10,000, Miller said. More than $450,000 worth of work on more than 50 homes in Denver Heights, Highland Park and Roosevelt Park has been completed at past Rehabaramas, according to the city.
Being able to be part of Saturday’s event was a treat for District 5 Council member Teri Castillo. Before she was elected, Castillo spent some of her time on the Historic Westside Residents Association finding …….