Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture

The Spanish Colonial Revival Style was a United States architectural movement that came about in the early 20th century after 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.

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

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 Steadman House in Montecito, CA, now a musuem called the Casa del Herrero.

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