Our notions of Spanish Style Homes of Texas domestic architecture of the Hispanic period come to us largely through an examination of the habitations erected in connection with the Franciscan missions in and around San Antonio.
Here the building materials varied from adobe bricks to random-rubble stonework. It is to be noted that many of the apartments in the mission houses, like the mission churches themselves, were crowned by tunnel vaults of masonry.
Like the Arizona types, architectural forms here partook of a "desert" quality as charming as it is rare in America.
Saint Augustine, with its old houses, city gates, plaza, and fort, serves to give us our main information regarding early Spanish architecture in Florida.
The projecting balconies and tinted stucco of the houses, the
"tropical," as opposed to the "desert", feeling experienced in so much of our southwestern Hispanic work, high walls of stone festoons of Spanish moss, lolling wind-blown palm trees, multi-colored awnings, the glint of wrought-iron gate or grille, low-lying strands of sand, blue-green or saffron-colored shutters: these are some of the elements that go to make up the picture.
And thus it is wherever we seek the handiwork of the Spanish artisan,
in America or in Spain, his forms are always conceived with regard to the
contrasts afforded by brilliant sunlight or deep shadow.
This then is the
message of Spain's architecture, and he who would build in this fascinating vogue must appreciate and abide by the ruling spirit of these sun loving Spanish style homes.