Spanish Colonial Revival

Originating on the west coast of the United States in the late 19th century, Spanish Colonial Revival is a counterpart to the English Colonial Revival in the eastern halh of the United States. Encompassing a range of Spanish and Mediterranean styles, forms, and details, the movement responds to renewed intrest in the Spanish past in California, the southwestern states, Texas, Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Mission Revival– (1885- 1915) This style of architecture exhibits elements from the California missions such as arcades, domes, bell towers,or courtyards.

Spanish Colonial Revival– (1915-1940s) Bulidings, which derive more directly from Spanish and other Mediterranean sources than from the missions, are usually more ornamented than other styles, door and window decorations.

Monterey Style– (1925- 1955) This interpretation seeks to replicate the 18th century Spanish Colonial Houses that incoprorates the English/Anglo buildings and New England style buildings.

Pueblo Revival or Santa Fe Style– (1912- present) Architecture uses the blocky, geometric adobe forms of Native American and Spanish Colonial buildings.


These include ogee arches, interlaced arabesques, geometric shapes, heraldic symbloes, classical architectural details such as pilasters and pediments, twisted columns, estipite, niches, niche-pilasters, zapatas, foliated or quatrefoil windows, scrolls, garlands, swags, flowers, and foliage.

Ogee Arch

Interlaced Arabesque

Architectural Details



Types include city halls, courthouses, hotels, motels, museums, offices, commercial buildings, school and university buildings, movie theaters, motion picture studios, gas stations, apartments, high-style architect-designed mansions, and vernacular builder esidences.

  • Urban public buildings sit upon primary streets or prime locations in cities and towns
  • Floor plans center on or have courtyards and patios.
  • Walls are of smooth or rough stucco, stone, brick, adobe, or concrete.
  • Colors include white, cream or buff, gray, ochre, pale yellow, or pink.
  • Facades maybe symmetrical or asymmetrical.
  • Walls may be flat and smooth or covered with rough-faced stucco.
  • Windows are rounded arches, although they may mix with rectangular sashes or casements.
  • Doors may be recessed or within porches and have red of colorful tiled walkways, most have round arches.
  • Geometric or Curviliner parapet roofs ( Mission-Style) Low- pitched gable or hipped  roofs are most common in all Spanish Colonial Revival Style, execpt Pueblo which alway has flat roofs.

Hotel Ponce de Leon (Spanish Colonial Revival)

Glenwood Hotel now known as Mission Inn (Mission Revival)

Beverly Hills Hotel (Spanish Colonial Revival)

New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts (Pueblo Revival)

Cristo Rey Church (Pueblo Revival)


  • Front and interior courtyards and patios are characteristic.
  • Interiors often display an eclectic Spanish or rustic feeling related to the exteriors.
  • Walls are white, off-white, gray, pale yellow, ocher, or pink
  • Cermic tiles, textiles, and decorative ceilings in bright blue, turquoise, yellow, orange, red, and green.
  • Woods usually are stained a dark, rich color.
  • Electric table and floor lamps, chandeliers, lanterns, and sconces in wrought iron are most typical lighting fixtures.
  • Floors are tiles or dark wood planks.
  • Floors tiles are rectangular, hexagonal , or octagonal in unglazed red or brown clay.
  • Walls usually are smooth or rough plaster with few moldings.
  •  Doors surrounds are rectangular, round arches, or folicated arches.
  • Doors are of dark paneled or carved wood with wrought iron hinges and knobs.
  • Ceilings may be plain and flat, or sloped or arched plaster.

Furnishings and Decorative Arts:

Types associated with Spanish high-style and vernacular furniture of the Renaissance or Baroque are popular for Spanish Colonial Revival. Thses include the frailero, x-form chair and stool, spindle-back chairs, the amario or wardrobe, and the vargueno.


Spindle-back Chairs

The Amario

The Vargueno







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