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The craftsman
Vol. V, No. 5 (February 1904)

James, George Wharton
The influence of the "mission style" upon the civic and domestic architecture of modern California,   pp. 458-469 PDF (3.6 MB)


Page 458


THE CRAFTSMAN
THE INFLUENCE OF THE "MIS-
SION    STYLE"    UPON     THE    CIVIC
AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE
OF    MODERN        CALIFORNIA. BY
GEORGE WHARTON JAMES.
OW often we hear the expression:
           "He builded   better than  he
           knew !" Never was it used more
           truthfully than when applied to
the Fathers Junipero Serra, Crespi, Lasuen,
and their co-workers, who erected the mis-
sion structures of California.
  The Spaniards were a remarkable people.
Whatever we may think of the modern Span-
iard, in our present day pride, we cannot
deny his great virility, bravery, and the ex-
tent of his explorations in earlier centuries.
Then, too, is it not a remarkable fact that
he stamped his language and much of his
religion upon the aborigines of the two
great halves of the American Continent;
that the architecture he used for his churches
in North America is largely influencing
much of the best domestic, civic and relig-
ious architecture of modern   California,
with its population of wealthy, progressive,
somewhat arrogant, and certainly self-cen-
tered citizenship?
  It would be an interesting and fascinating
search to investigate the influences which
led to the building of the Mission structures
of California. They are original buildings:
no one can say that they are copies. Cer-
tainly they have points in common with
other architectural expressions, yet they are
originals, clear, distinctive and vivid.
  Undoubtedly, the source of their inspira-
tion was Spanish, and in some later publica-
tion, it will be my pleasure to give an ana-
lytical survey of all the historic churches of
Spain and Mexico, which may have influ-
enced Serra and his coadjutors. -      -
  Yet it is evident that in California the
Mission architects were largely controlled
by conditions of environment, the impor-
Figure I. Main entrance, Glenwood Mission Hotel, Riverside, California
45S


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