The Mission style was introduced at the influential 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego as architects looked back to Spain for more elaborate architectural antecedents. The Spanish eclectic style ranged in Vancouver from elaborate mansions – Rio Vista, Casa Mia, to California “ranchos” (s.w. corner – 33rd and Larch, 5230 Marguerite), to Spanish storybook (“Kania Castle”) and Spanish bungalow-type homes.
Surrounded by walls that enclose the property in the same stucco finish as the houses, asymmetrical massing, with open gables to the street, predominate. Low-pitched roofs designed for tile, often combining hipped and gabled forms are marked by regionally distinctive overhanging eaves. The cantilevered hanging upper porch marks the Monterey version seen in Northern California. Courtyards, front and back, are delineated by the enclosing garden walls.
Casement windows with muntin bars replace double-hung windows but are ganged in pairs as are the double doors opening to patios. Front doors are heavy robustly detailed wooden features. Arches are often used for principal groups of windows, doors, and porches. At least one large focal window will contain a triple-arched or parabolic shape, sometimes with stained glass. Spiral columns or pilasters also accent doors and windows. Towers – round or square, plus arcaded walkways and fountains are part of this Hispanic vocabulary.
Red tile roofs, white rough-cast stucco, heavy robust wood accents around windows, doors, and eaves make up the Spanish style. Ornamental wrought iron appears in grillework over windows and door openings, and iron accents turn up in lanterns, sconces, and railings. Patterned tile turns up as accents in the stucco in open-ended gables and on stair risers.