The Mission style of architecture is based, as the name implies, on early Spanish churches built by missionaries in the southwestern United States. This style, also known as Spanish Mission or California Mission, was popular from 1890 until about 1920. First built in California, the style became popular throughout the Southwest, because the shaded porches and dark interiors of Mission architecture are well suited to warm climates.
The distinctive features of Mission style architecture include an arcaded front entry porch, smooth stucco siding, a red tile roof with rounded parapets, and a porch supported by large square pillars. Decorative details can include round or clover-shaped windows, twisted columns, and even a square bell tower. Many Mission homes evoke the historical feel of the original Spanish mission churches, to the point where one can almost see the monks at work or prayer in their brown robes. The Mission Inn in Riverside, CA is an example of Mission style architecture.
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