Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture

Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture

The Spanish Colonial Revival Style was a United States architectural movement that came about in the early 20th century, starting in Florida as a regional expression related to both history and environment. The Spanish Colonial Revival Style was also influenced by the opening of the Panama Canal and the overwhelming success of the novel "Ramona". Based on the Spanish Colonial style architecture that dominated in the early Spanish colonies of both North and South America, Spanish Colonial Revival updated these forms for a new century.

Early champions of the Spanish Colonial Revival include Orlando, Florida architect Frederick H. Trimble whose Farmer's Bank in Vero Beach predates the Panama-California Exposition of 1915 in San Diego. The San Diego Fair has been credited with drawing national attention to the aesthetic potential of this style.

The movement enjoyed its greatest popularity between 1915 and 1931 and was most often exhibited in single-level detached houses.


The antecedents of the Spanish Colonial Revival Style can be traced to three northeastern architects, New Yorkers John Carrère and Thomas Hastings of Carrère and Hastings and Bostonian Franklin W. Smith. These three designed grand, elaborately detailed hotels in the Spanish Colonial idiom for St. Augustine, Florida in the 1880s. With the advent of the Ponce de Leon Hotel (Carrère and Hastings, 1882), the Alcazar Hotel (Carrère and Hastings, 1887) and the Casa Monica (later Hotel Cordova) (Franklin W. Smith, 1888) thousands of winter visitors to the Sunshine State began to experience the charm and romance of Spanish Colonial architecture.

These three hotels were influenced not only by the centuries old buildings remaining from the Spanish rule in St. Augustine but also by "The Old City House", constructed in 1873 and still standing, an excellent example of early Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.

The possibilities of the Spanish Colonial Revival Style were brought to the attention of architects attending late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries international expositions. For example, California's Spanish-style stucco mission-meets-mansion at the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in classicism as well.

By the early years of the 1910s, adventurous architects in Florida had begun to make Spanish Colonial Revival their own. Frederick H. Trimble’s Farmer’s Bank in Vero Beach, completed in 1914, is a fully mature early example of the style. The city of St. Cloud, Florida, espoused the style both for homes and commercial structures and has a fine collection of subtle stucco buildings reminiscent of old Mexico. Many of these were designed by architecture partners Ida Annah Ryan and Isabel Roberts.

Design Elements

Spanish Colonial Revival architecture shares many elements with the very closely-related Mission Revival and Pueblo styles of the West and Southwest, and is strongly informed by the same Arts & Crafts Movement that was behind those architectural styles. Characterized by a combination of detail from several eras of Spanish and Mexican architecture, the style is marked by the prodigious use of smooth plaster (stucco) wall and chimney finishes, low-pitched clay tile, shed, or flat roofs, and terra cotta or cast concrete ornaments. Other characteristics typically include small porches or balconies, Roman or semi-circular arcades and fenestration, wood casement or tall, double–hung windows, canvas awnings, and decorative iron trim. Probably the most famous Spanish Colonial Revival Architect in California was George Washington Smith who practiced during the 1920s and 30s. Perhaps his most famous house is the Steedman House in Montecito, CA, now a museum called the Casa del Herrero

tructural form

*Rectangular or L-plan
*Horizontal massing
*Predominantly one-story
*Interior or exterior courtyards
*Asymmetrical shape with cross-gables and side wings

List of example structures

* [,M1/ Farmer's Bank] in Vero Beach, Florida, completed in 1914
* [ Adamson House] in Malibu, California
* [ Casa del Herrero] (George Washington Smith House)
* [ Casa Dracaena] (George Washington Smith house) completed in 1918.
* [ Lynch Residence] in Los Angeles, California, completed in 1922
* Quapaw Baths building in Bathhouse Row, Hot Springs, Arkansas, completed in 1922
* [ de las Campañas] in Los Angeles, California, completed in 1928
* C.E. Toberman Estate in Hollywood, California, completed in 1924
* [ H. Upham House] in Altadena, California, completed in 1928
* [ Casa Nueva] in City of Industry, California, completed in 1927
* [ Serralles Castle] in Ponce, Puerto Rico, completed in the 1930s
* [ S. Hart Residence] in Newhall, California, completed in early 1920s
* [ Gaylord Suites] in San Francisco, California, completed in 1928
* Randolph Air Force Base (various structures) near San Antonio, Texas, designed in 1929
* Hollywood, Homewood, Alabama, a 1926 residential development in Homewood, Alabama
* El Capitan Theatre, Hollywood (built in 1928)
* Death Valley Ranch, also known as Scotty's Castle, a landmark in Death Valley National Park, which was begun in 1922 and had construction on the original design continue sporadically as late as 1943.
*Scripps College in Claremont, California, a women's college established in 1926.
*Santa Barbara County Courthouse in Santa Barbara, California, completed in 1929.
*Hamilton Air Force Base near Novato, California, completed in 1934


William S. Hart's “La Loma de los Vientos”, a 22-room house atop a prominent hill in Newhall, California, designed by architect Arthur R. Kelly and built between 1924 and 1928
Hamilton Air Force Base headquarters building, facility #500, built in 1934 in Novato, California

ee also

*Mediterranean Revival Style architecture
*Mission Revival Style architecture


*cite book|author=Weitze, K.|year=1984|title=California's Mission Revival|publisher=Hennessy & Ingalls, Inc., Los Angeles, CA|id=ISBN 0-912158-89-1

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mission Revival Style architecture — Part of the Spanish missions in California series    Architecture of the California missions  …   Wikipedia

  • Mediterranean Revival Style architecture — is an eclectic design style that was first introduced in the United States around the turn of the nineteenth century, and came into prominence in the 1920s and 1930s. The style evolved from rekindled interest in Italian Renaissance palaces and… …   Wikipedia

  • Colonial Revival architecture — Colonial Revival home of Henry M. Jackson in Everett, Washington The Colonial Revival (also Georgian Revival or Neo Georgian) was a nationalistic architectural style, garden design, and interior design movement in the United States which sought… …   Wikipedia

  • Spanish Colonial style — The Spanish Colonial Style dominated in the early Spanish colonies of North and South America, as well as in the Philippines. It is marked by the contrast between the simple, solid construction demanded by the new environment and the Baroque… …   Wikipedia

  • Colonial Revival garden — The Colonial Revival flower garden at Arlington House (the Robert E. Lee Memorial) at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. A Colonial Revival garden is a garden design intended to evoke the garden design typical of the Colonial period of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Spanish Mission — may mean:*Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture an architectural style, or *Mission Revival Style architecture an architectural style, or *Spanish Missions in California the history of California *Spanish missions in Texas …   Wikipedia

  • COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE —    Colonial architecture is the term used for the style and type of building imported by colonizers in a foreign land. Thus, it can refer to the English styles of architecture that were first introduced on the East Coast of the United States,… …   Historical Dictionary of Architecture

  • Architecture des Disney's Hollywood Studios — Le parc Disney s Hollywood Studios de Walt Disney World Resort en Floride fait de nombreuses références architecturales à des bâtiments de Los Angeles. Certains existent encore, d autres ont été détruits. Le parc peut donc aussi être visité comme …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Architecture of Chicago — Willis Tower The architecture of Chicago has influenced and reflected the history of American architecture. The city of Chicago, Illinois features prominent buildings in a variety of styles by many important architects. Since most buildings… …   Wikipedia

  • Spanish missions in California — Part of the Spanish missions in the Americas series Arizona …   Wikipedia