Rehabarama brings needed improvements to 18 homes in historic Denver Heights

May is preservation month

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SAN ANTONIO – Eighteen homes in the Denver Heights neighborhood on San Antonio's East Side are part of a large-scale, one-day revitalization effort.

The city's first Rehabarama drew more than 100 volunteers to the 100 and 200 blocks of Harding Place.

The Office of Historic Preservation teamed up with Power of Preservation and local contractors to complete projects like painting, landscaping, porch repairs and window restoration.

Victor Vega bought his home in the 100 block of Harding Place a week before the big improvement project.

The previous owner was already making plans for a new paint job during Rehabarama, which became a great welcome gift for Vega.

"I wouldn't be able to afford it right now. I'm going to have to save money to do these renovations, and I've got other things in progress that I would like to do. We couldn't have done this without the help from the city," he said.

Steve Quillian, owner of Wood Window Makeovers, said proper restoration helps preserve a neighborhood's character.

"What's encapsulated in these windows is an expression of these houses. I mean it's the expression of the human spirit. You can't get the human spirit in something that you buy off the shelf at a big home store and staple to the wall," Quillian said.

One of the goals for Rehabarama is mentorship.

Quillian said he brought five people into the window restoration business last year, and hoped to introduce more people to his trade while volunteering at the event.

Many of the homes getting improvements needed more than a day's work, but organizers hoped the projects would kick-start more projects in the Denver Heights neighborhood.