Mission Architecture

Mission architectureThe mission home style is distinct, but is often associated with the Mediterranean architecture style. It has origins in California where most of the existing examples are populated today. This style ran a course in the American landscape from 1890 to around 1920, during the period of the Arts and Crafts architecture movement. A great number of residential, commercial, and institutional structures (i.e. railroad depots, schools) displayed this undeniable architectural style. There are scattered examples (built in the early 20th century) throughout suburban America but, it never became a commonly adapted style outside of the southwestern states.

The Mission style developed from the desire to create an architecture based on the southwest’s regional historic influences, namely the Spanish Colonial mission history, rather than adopting imported design influences from the East Coast. After two decades, the style soon faded from popularity post World War I as design interpretations moved from free style, adaptations of earlier architecture, to a more precise and defined recreation.

Mission architecture is generally noted by several identifying features. Most are symmetrical in design, but there are many with asymmetrical floor plan concepts. The most identifying feature is the mission shaped dormer or parapet roof commonly covered with red tile roofing. Overhanging eaves are wide with open rafters. Porch roofs are supported by large square piers that are connected by arches at the top. The exterior finish is usually stucco (smooth finish); however, some examples do include brick, stone, and even siding.