Style Series: Spanish Revival

Home Design, Style Series

Arcades like this one were also features of Spanish Revival homes. Memorial Moroccon, Photography by Piston Design.

It’s hard not to be familiar with this style, popular in California, Florida, Texas, and southwestern states. The two-year Panama-California Exposition held between 1915 and 1917 in San Diego celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal and, with it, brought a growing interest in Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean style architecture. The exhibition marks the beginning of Spanish Revival in the area, and the style continues to be popular today.

Spanish Revival differs from its predecessor Mission style architecture in that it is more ornate and finely detailed, particularly in trims, balcony rails and tiles. In terms of massing, homes will often be asymmetrical and include towers for chimneys (meant to mimic old Spanish castles and clock towers), arcades, balconies and low-pitched roofs.

Today’s Best in American Living Award winners continue to showcase the quintessential features of the style, including romantic arches, iron detailing, balconies, and stucco exteriors. Scroll through the gallery below to see 21st century examples of this 20th century style.

Alexandra Isham is the Design Program Manager at NAHB.

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