Derived from the Spanish settlement in the American South-west, this style came north prompted by its use as the official style of the stations and hotels of the Sante Fe and Southern Pacific railroads. The second Hotel Vancouver at Georgia and Granville was also informed by the characteristics of this style. (Hence, the late lamented Spanish Grille).
Simple symmetrical or asymmetrical in form embellished with deep porches or verandahs, sometimes with an embedded tower similar to the Californian “mirador” lookout. Low-pitched roofs are set off with curvilinear parapets and gable ends. There is always a dominant curved parapet which specifically defines this style.
The primary characteristic of the Mission style is the curvilinear parapets, dormer and gable ends, an imitation of the Californian missions. The porches and verandahs had substantial arched columns, often under a pronounced parapet edge with a molded stucco trim, generally the only form of ornamentation. The curved, almost Baroque parapets highlighted the entrance to the front door usually at the porch level. If two or more storeys, bull’s-eye windows were used locally as an accent in place of the quatrefoil windows seen in the American South-west.
Nearly always white rough-cast stucco was used along with tile roofs in terra cotta red or green. Metal tile roofs imitating the rounded clay tile roofs were also used. Vertical windows in groups of three to five were ganged together for major rooms, and were usually double-hung. Chimneys were stuccoed and interior except the exterior ones which were embedded in the parapeted gable ends. Bracketed eaves are the only wood expression other than the windows and doors.