SANTA ANA : French Park Celebrates Renovation of 4 Homes

To celebrate the renovation of four houses in the Historic French Park District, city officials showed neighbors around the revitalized area Wednesday and expressed appreciation to members of the California Conservation Corps, who helped repair the homes.

"All of the houses have their own personality," said Sandy Welch, a French Park resident and artist, who chose the color scheme. The homes were repaired and repainted using a $95,000 city grant.

The turn-of-the-century houses, in the 900 block of North French Street, were in various states of disrepair.

"It was a very difficult task, sometimes it was almost frustrating," Debbie McEwen, president of the French Park Assn., told the crowd as she stood on the steps of one of the houses. But the results of the effort are now obvious, she said.

One of the homes belongs to a nonprofit group, another has rooms for rent, and the others are residences, one of them for sale.

In recent months, Welch said, 15 other houses on French Street have been repainted by owners.

A similar program helped to revitalize the Heninger Park area in the 1980s, according to a city report.

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