The “Spanish Territorial” was rather dirty and plain, “brutish and short“, as Hobbes would say, until Anglos gentrified the style with Greek elements, the Anglo-imagined Greek elements of American Greek Revival.  In truth, the style is a hodge-podge, folksy, “Folk Architecture“, you might say, a style almost without history, a style of necessity.  The most honest examples omit the whitewash, remain simple dried mud, an unnecessary pretense.  When observing the style, I am put in mind of the myth of the House, tree trunks becoming columns, joints becoming triglyphs, and everywhere the opportunity for sculpted or painted meaning, history before history.  Spanish Territorial. 

In Precedent

Folk necessity, Pueblo, and later, Classive elements, notably, the Greek Revival.
The adobes of the Hopi Pueblo, the barrack of soldiers.


Facades are most often stuccoed, simple, white, orderly if asymmetrical.
Low-pitched roofs with clay tiles, sometimes of tin.
Most-times, plain wood doors and windows.
Floors like to be of pine.
Old examples display the mud brick.


Simple as a house can be, for contemporary living in full, this Spanish Territorial house is suitable to homestead, retreat, or weekend project, at barely 1,300 feet, it is a small home just larger than tiny.  Too, this house is most suitable to physicians, artists, attorneys in private practice, to home-business and to the growing generation of work-from-home industries.

The plan is suited to its purpose.  The public room is sufficiently grand with an open-beam ceiling, tile floors, and stucco walls.  The separated back-hall is a semi-private transition from the garage, the utility rooms, and the open, playful master suite.  The second building is suitable for family, visitors, or office; it has a separate entrance, and could have a kitchenette, for long stays, as in VRBO or Airbnb.  The walled courtyard is reminiscent of stables that would have been common, as might be in this house, if for homestead.  If for country or sub-country house, the home might like a pool, gaming area, et cetera, as the outdoor shower and outdoor television suggest.

If my house, I would transform the porch piers to simple columns, and add antefix to roof or pictured carving to canales and beams.  Spanish Territorial. 


Spanish Territorial House

Spanish Territorial, Plan and Elevation. M. Curtis, designer.


Plan #43

1,288                          Total Square Feet
811                              Building 1
477                              Building 2
13′-2”                          Height
65’-3”                          Width overall
54′-3”                          Depth
11’-6’                          Ceiling (GR)
3                                  Bedrooms
2 1/2                           Bathrooms

Room Size

Family Room              12’-6” x 22’-0”
Kitchen                        12’-6” x 7’-9”
Master Bedroom        12’-0” x 16’11”
Master Bath                12’-0” x 5’-6”
Walk In Closet             6’-6” x 6’-0”
Powder Room             3’-0” x 6’-0”
Laundry                        3’-0” x 6’-0”
Bedroom 2                   16’-0” x 11’-6”
Bedroom 3                   16’-0” x 10’-0”
Bathroom                      6’-0” x 7’-8”
(potential solar panels above)
Garage                           12’-6” x 22’-0”.


Energy Efficient Design
adaptable to solar water, electrical, and fan
open floor plan
economical to build
kitchen island
main floor bed & bath
main floor laundry
side-entry garage
wheelchair adaptable

Other Beautiful Spanish Eclectic houses include:

#43 Las Cruces
#5 Presidio


Featured image: Plan #84, Spanish Territorial, Pomona, Elevation. M. Curtis, designer


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