Style 101: Prairie


Hilltop Prairie home with a view, Point Loma, CA | IS Architecture

The Prairie style is one of the few American-born styles of architecture. The precursors to the Prairie style originated in Chicago with the (appropriately-named) Chicago School of architecture. This Chicago School was not a physical school but rather a movement connected to the work of such well-known architects as William Le Baron Jenney, H.H. Richardson, Daniel H. Burnham, John Wellborn Root, Dankmar Adler, and Louis Sullivan. These architects were instrumental in the development of the first skyscrapers, as well as the eponymous Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style.

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Style 101: Spanish Colonial Revival

1929 Richard Requa house, Point Loma, CA | IS Architecture

1929 Richard Requa house, Point Loma, CA | IS Architecture

The Spanish Colonial Revival style includes a wide range of elements influenced by Spanish colonial architecture in the United States. The style’s bright stucco walls and red tile roofs have a distinctly Mediterranean flair that seems appropriate for the style’s Southern California origins, but revival architecture of this sort can be found throughout the country. Examples can incorporate elements from the broad history of Spanish architecture, including Moorish, Gothic, Byzantine, and Renaissance sources.

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Style 101: Craftsman


Ocean Beach Bungalow, San Diego, CA | IS Architecture, 2010

The Craftsman style developed out of the English Arts & Crafts movement of  the late 19th century. In 1862, a British artist and medievalist named William Morris took issue with the loss of craftsmanship and individual design that had resulted from the Industrial Revolution. In response, he founded the design firm Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. to bring what he saw as individuality and quality back to design. Morris’ work was popular, but only the financially well-off could afford his designs — everybody else still relied on the cheaper, quicker, mass-production materials that the Industrial Revolution produced and against which Morris advocated. Nonetheless, Morris’ thoughts were influential on the fields of architecture and the decorative arts. By 1888, the movement had taken its name from the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, which advocated for the exhibition of decorative arts (such as stained glass, furniture and accessory furnishings, rugs, embroidery, book illustration, basketry, ceramic pottery, etc.) alongside fine arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, etc.).

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Style 101: Pueblo Revival


Image result for pueblo revival architecture new mexico

Apartment complex, Santa Fe, NM | Photo by Rebecca McManus, 2016

The Pueblo Revival style is one of the few styles born in America. The style was directly influenced by Native American pueblo architecture and has been adapted to both private and public architecture. It works particularly well for multifamily residences, which recall the original multifamily nature of Native American pueblos. While the revival likely originated in California, the highest concentration of examples is in Arizona and New Mexico. Today, Pueblo Revival architecture has remained a Southwestern United States style and is rare in other regions of the country.

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Style 101: Monterey Revival


Walter J. and Grace Ogden-Ralph L. Frank House, San Diego, CA | IS Architecture

The Monterey Revival style, named for Monterey, CA (where it is most prevalent) is one of the few styles born in America. In the early 18th century, Californians blended Spanish colonial and New England colonial styles into something new. These buildings were two stories, built of adobe, and featured prominent second-story balconies or two-story front porches. This became the Monterey style. The Monterey Revival style is uniquely geographical in nature — when it appears on the east coast, Monterey Revival buildings tend to have wood clapboard or shiplap siding that reflect the New England colonial influence on the style. In the western United States, however, Monterey Revival buildings feature fewer New England details and usually have stuccoed walls. On both coasts, timber frame construction has replaced the adobe precedents of the original style.

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