First let us say we are not architects… just real estate guys who love the historic homes in downtown Phoenix and have made them our core practice. We welcome feedback and comments to this piece from those who know more than we do when it comes to historic architecture. That said; we’d like to give you our take on what is revival style architecture in Phoenix AZ.
What is Revival Style Architecture?
Most revival literature suggests it is the incorporation or echoing of previous design styles in a new design. For example a Tudor Revival incorporates elements of the grand Elizabethan Tudor homes and a Mission revival contains visual aspects found in the Spanish Missions.
Often the elements that make us say… “that’s a revival style home” are very subtle and sometimes it is quite evident. One must remember most of the homes built in Phoenix during the early 1900’s were fairly small. Builders and architects had to balance interesting design with affordability and scale.
Let’s take a brief look at the major revival style architecture
found in the downtown Phoenix area.
- Steep, multi-gabled roof lines
- Decorative half-timber framing
- Massive chimneys
- Windows in groups of two, three or four, often multi-paned, and sometimes arranged in a diamond pattern.
- Two story and often rectilinear
- Low pitched gable roofs covered with shingles or red clay tiles
- Projecting cantilevered second floor balconies with wood railings
- White plaster walls
- Thick, round-edged walls
- Flat roof with no overhang
- Multiple Levels
- Rounded parapet rising above the roof line
- Clay spout to carry water off the roof
- Some have vegas… timbers embedded in the design or used as support element
- Door and window openings are often designed to look deeper than a regular home.
Mission Revival is a style containing elements found in the California Missions. We do not see too many of these homes in Phoenix as many were lost to fire and time. The most distinctive design element is a facade front that tries to capture the mission feeling. They are generally rectangular, often 2 stories, and likely to carry some arches in the facades and windows.
Spanish Colonial Revival is considered an eclectic style that blends mission, Spanish, Pueblo and other southwest influences. Architect Bertram Goodhue was an early influencer presenting the style at the 1915 San Diego Panama Exposition. Since it is a blended style it is often hard for us non-architects to recognize. In general they are either 1 or 2 story, have smooth exterior walls, a lower roof line and rectangular shape and sometime lengthy like a ranch style home.
- Symmetrical facade
- 2 to 3 stories
- Brick or wood siding
- Simple, classical detailing
- Gable roof
- Pillars and columns.
There are numerous offerings of the basic bungalow style home. The most common are the California and Craftsman Bungalow. The California is often differentiated by having more decorative finishes. Bungalows are often found in the Coronado Historic district and Roosevelt Historic district.
The basic elements include:
- One and a half stories
- Most of the living spaces on the ground floor
- Low-pitched roof and horizontal shape
- Living room at the center
- Connecting rooms without hallways
- Mostly symmetrical front porches.
Naturally there are other revival style architecture styles found around town but these are some of the most prevalent. You will find lots of pictures of these homes in the various articles and video tours we’ve written about the historic districts. We hope this has been both entertaining and educational as we tried to answer the question… what is revival style architecture?
The Caniglia Group
7600 N 16th St #100
Phoenix, AZ 85020