Mission Hills Heritage


Architectural Styles of Mission Hills

Although there are many different home styles in Inspiration Heights, the following list includes some of the more common and notable ones. These descriptions are adapted from AntiqueHome.org and we encourage you to go there to learn more about these styles as well as ones we have not included. As Antique Home's website states, "We started Antique Home in 2005 as an information resource for both homeowners and lovers of old homes. We have old homes and we love them, so we've collected a variety of primary sources that we look forward to sharing. On Antique Home, we focus on American residential architecture designed and built from the late 19th century through the 1960s. If it's inside or around an American home built between 1900 and 1960, we consider it fair game for publication and discussion."

4160 Jackdaw Street

What is a bungalow? Trained architects and art historians don't agree, so some confusion is inevitable. However, if we refer to Harry Saylor's book Bungalow published in 1911, then we can derive our definition from him, that is, open floor plans, low-pitched roofs, and the essential large front porch. The bungalow style has its roots in the native architectural style of Bengal, India. During the late 19th century and the waning days of the British Empire, English officers had small houses built in the Bangla style. The houses were one story with tile or thatched roofs and wide, covered verandas. The bungalow style typically had some combination of the following:

  • Low-pitched roof, gabled or hipped.
  • Deep eaves with exposed rafters.
  • Decorative knee braces
  • Open floor plan
  • 1-1½ stories, occasionally 2
  • Dormers, shed, hipped or gabled
  • Built-in cabinetry, beamed ceilings, simple wainscot most commonly seen in dining and living room.
  • Large fireplace often with built-in cabinetry, shelves, or benches on either side
  • Large, covered front porches with massive columns under extension of main roof.
  • Windows typically double hung with multiple lights in the upper windows and a single pane in the lower, often seen in continuous banks. Simple, wide casings.

1955 Sunset Blvd

What most distinguished the Craftsman home was its philosophical foundation that was predicated on a more functional aesthetic, natural materials, and a greater degree of craftsmanship, which Art & Crafts proponents believed to be missing from the more ornate or traditional styles of the period. Arts and Crafts architects and designers believed that a return to a simpler, less pretentious style would lead to a healthier, more comfortable and productive life. The Craftsman bungalow adapted the large porch and practical floor plan seen in earlier homes built by British colonists in India. [A]lmost all Craftsman houses are bungalows, but not all bungalows are Craftsman style. The Craftsman style is distinguished by its many fine details and excellent workmanship. The typical Craftsman home usually has the following features:

  • Low-pitched roof, deep eaves with exposed rafters, decorative knee braces.
  • 1-1½ stories, dormers
  • Built-in cabinetry, large fireplace, often with built-in cabinetry on either side
  • Large, covered front porches with massive, battered columns
  • Windows typically double-hung with multiple lights in the upper window and a single pane in the lower
  • Many fine details including hammered metalwork in copper and bronze, and art tiles by notable American art potters like Batchelder, Grueby, Rookwood, and the Roycrofters.

4106 Alameda Drive

Prairie School
Prairie style architecture evolved from the handcrafted, meticulous design and construction prevalent during the earliest years of the 20th century. It's virtually synonymous with Frank Lloyd Wright though many other architects, many of whom were also employed by Louis Sullivan, explored this style. Prairie style houses often have a combination of these features:

  • Strong horizontal lines; one or two-story. One-story projections.
  • Low-pitched roof; broad, overhanging eaves. Prominent, central chimney
  • Ribbons of windows, often casements emphasize horizontality of overall design
  • Open floor plan. Stylized, built-in cabinetry.
  • Wide use of natural materials especially stone and wood

4115 Miller Street

Mission Revival
Its popularity was fueled by the success of Arthur Page Brown's California State Building shown at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Originating in the West, Mission style was popular from about 1900 to 1940. As the Mission style evolved there was significant borrowing from both the Craftsman bungalow and Prairie School styles. Mission style houses incorporate many of the following characteristics:

  • Simple, smooth stucco or plaster siding
  • Broad, overhanging eaves; exposed rafters; either hipped or gabled tile roof; roof parapets
  • Large square pillars or twisted columns
  • Arched entry and windows; covered walkways or arcades; round or quatrefoil window
  • Restrained decorative elements usually consisting of tile, iron, and wood

2020 Orizaba Street

Spanish Revival
Unlike its immediate predecessor, Mission Revival, Spanish Revival was more ornate with stylistic detail apparent in both large features and small, such as intricately patterned tilework and wrought iron hardware. After the Panama-California Exposition in 1915, the Spanish Revival style caught hold. Spanish Revival is an extremely eclectic style. Many Mediterranean touches are combined to create an exotic, harmonious appearance. (The Monterey style is a later (1925-1955) two-story adaptation of Spanish Revival style combined with features of the Colonial Revival. Its primary distinguishing characteristic is its prominent second-story cantilevered balcony that often runs the length of the front of the house.) The following are typical features of Spanish Revival houses:

  • Asymmetrical. Low-pitched flat, gable, or hip roof, typically with no overhang; tile roof
  • Half round arches, doors, and windows
  • Stucco over adobe brick, or adobe brick exterior walls; plaster interior walls
  • Ornate tile, wrought iron, and wood work

2271 Pine Street

Colonial Revival
After the first centennial of the American Revolution in 1876, a new awareness of traditional architectural forms appeared across the US. From 1920 until mid-century, this architectural style with its variants was the most popular home style in the US. Variants include American Revival, American Foursquare, Dutch Colonial, Cape Cod. The following are usually characteristic of the classic Colonial Revival home.

  • Rectangular shape. Symmetrical façade, often with side porches. 1-3 stories
  • Gabled or hipped roof with narrow overhang, medium pitch with wood shingles, and in NE slate tile
  • Windows: Multi-pane, double-hung with shutters, bay windows. Shutters.
  • Entrance: Centered and prominent with columns, pilasters, or extended pediment to create a covered porch; fanlight or
  • transom, sidelights, paneled door
  • Brick or wood clapboard siding exterior
  • Possibly dormers, classical columns , two-story pilasters or quoins at corners, dentils under eaves



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