Glossary
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Rik Pierce's Sketches
Southwestern Spanish Style
 
One   of  the  earliest  Spanish-style dwellings in the South-western region was the Spanish Colonial.  Because of  the  intense  desert    climate,    these  homes   were    constructed of thick, adobe walls that  provided   excellent  insulation.  There  were very few windows,  since the preference was for bars, wroght-iron grilles or covered openings, often protected with the spiny ribs of the ocotillo cactus or other materials indigenous to the area.
 
Because of the warm climates, they built long porches that opened onto courtyards and functioned as sheltered passageways  between  rooms.  These areas were designed with broad porches and overhanging roofs, so they offered the type of protection you would get from an umbrella to the pounding monsoon rains of summer and the sun in every season.
 
In the late 1800s, the Mission-style home came into prominence.   These  homes,  typically,  had   wide   over- hanging  eaves  and  were   very    easily   recognized   by  a mission-type dormer or parapet.  
 
By the early 1900s, the Pueblo Revival was well under way. Taking its cue from the ancient Native American dwellings of the Southwest, this style was characterized by a stucco exterior  and  a  flat  roof  with a parapet above irregular rounded   edges.  Projecting  wooden roof beams, called vigas,  extended  through  the   walls.  The stepped-back roofline of the original  native American pueblos (Spanish for   towns)  was  often  imitated,  with window lintels and porches carrying out the hand-crafted theme.  
 
Between 1915 and 1940, the Spanish Eclectic home made its appearance.   The most  prominent  features  of  these  homes are the arches above the windows and doors, and the decorative details inspired by Moorish or Byzantine cultures.
 
My Spanish bakery (La Mariposa) is a Mission-style home.
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¡Si, se habla Español!
 
From the 17th  Century until 1821 a vast portion of what is now known  as  the   Southwestern   United  States was under   Spanish   control.    So it is not surprising  that  a   strong  Spanish influence exists today.  
 
The  Spanish  language is part of their  lives,  and part   of  the  land.   It is there in the names of  large cities and states  (El  Paso, Los Angeles, Nevada); and  towns (Manteca,  Las  Rosas);    landmarks  (Rio Grande,  Colorado),   mountain   ranges (Sierra Nevada), foods (tacos, chile con carne, enchilada), etc..  
 
Since  this  project involves a Spanish style home, you are bound  to  find  some terms   relating  to  the   architectural features found in this type of dwelling.   Here are some of the Spanish words you may encounter on this site.  
 
 
 
Adobe -- sun-dried building blocks made of mud and straw, which are laid like brick.  Emplastadoras (plasterers), traditionally    women, then plaster the blocks with adobe mud.
 
Alacena -- a cupboard built into the wall.   This feature can be found in any room.
 
Azul añil -- this color--often referred to as Taos Blue--is used on doors to ward off spirits and bring good luck in Mexican and Native American traditions.
 
Canales -- drains made of tin-lined wood troughs or hollow logs.  They drain water from the roof.
 
Fogón --  an adobe fireplace built in the corner.  They are usually called "beehives" and are most often quite small and built of plastered adobe.
 
Horno -- a dome-shaped oven built on the outside of the house.  It is used for baking bread.
 
Latillas -- slender peeled poles laid across the vigas, side by side, in a herringbone style.
 
Nichos  -- a niche, used to display s  santos (carved religious figures) together with a candle or flowers, or Indian pottery.
 
Paredita -- a low wall between rooms that stops drafts and directs traffic, yet allows warm air to circulate overhead.
 
Portales -- porch   roofs  supported  by  slender   square   pillasters of painted wood.  
 
Ristra -- a string of chile peppers.
 
Round Vigas  --  beams used for roof support.  They are made from peeled tree trunks.  They extend beyond the exterior walls.
 
Sombraje -- shutters made of framed tiny latillas.
 
Vigas -- rectangular  beams used for roof support.   They are  usually made from milled timber, rectangular, and         stained.   They do not extend beyond the exterior walls.
 
 
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