Mission Style Home Plans

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Is it too obvious to mention the Spanish influence on Mission style home plans? Anyone in California might laugh aloud. Someone rooted in Tidewater, Virginia might need to read or be told--no harm done. The first mission church was built in 1769 in San Diego by Father Junipera Serra, who established 21 others along the west coast in the following 15 or so years. Characterized by arched dormers, roof parapets, smooth stucco walls, and tiled roofs, the Mission style clearly originated in California with these early churches.

Mission Style Home Plans: the Larger Family

Although Mission style home plans have spread across the country, they're most often found in the American southwest--in part because their deeply shaded porches and cool dark interiors lend themselves to hot, dry temperatures. Elements of the Mission style have worked their way into other architectural styles. Most are predominately Spanish-influenced or Pueblo-influenced, in keeping with the climate and terrain of both the Mediterranean and central America.

In many ways, Spanish Revival architecture--also called Spanish eclectic--is very like Mission style. From the tiled low-pitched roofs to enclosed courtyards to stucco exteriors, the common elements are unmistakable. In the Portuguese Azores, for example, this style predominates almost to the exclusion of anything else.

Pueblo Revival is not unlike Mission style home plans. In large part this is because of the materials--stucco wall surfaces, projecting roof beams, and flat roofs. This style draws on Pueblo Indian culture and history, of course. Angles tend to be somewhat softer than in Spanish Revival, and roofs are not tiled. The similarities between Pueblo and Spanish are also attributable to the temperate to hot climates of the Southwest and Mediterranean.

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