This year’s Showcase House of Design is notable not only for itself but as a fine example of the influential Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style strongly associated with Southern California buildings of the 1920s and 1930s. It was designed in 1927 by John Winford Byers as a winter home for a Michigan couple, Hunter and Margaret Robbins, and their four children. At the time, Byers had celebrity clients, including J. Paul Getty, Joel McCrea and Shirley Temple.
The eight-bedroom, 6,429-square-foot home, built on two acres, is much larger than the typical one-story Spanish Colonial Revival homes. Even so, many of the design features of the beautifully executed Robbins home in La Cañada Flintridge are shared by humbler homes throughout California, so it will feel familiar to locals.
Spanish Colonial Revival buildings incorporated design and source materials from several Spanish styles, as well as Mexican, Italian and Moorish architecture, for an eclectic but often harmonious result. In addition to thousands of homes, you can see the architectural style in city halls, libraries, train stations and hotels all around the Southland.
Typical Spanish Colonial Revival characteristics include rectangular or L-shaped floor plans with side wings; low-pitched clay tile, shed, or flat roofs; balconies and courtyards with decorative wrought iron grillwork; tile both outside and indoors; arcade entrances and heavy wooden doors, often with ornate carving.
Sources: essential-architecture.com and Fullerton Heritage
– Patricia McFall