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The craftsman
Vol. V, No. 4 (January 1904)

James, George Wharton
The Franciscan mission builders of California,   pp. 321-335 PDF (4.7 MB)

Page 329

(see Figure III). Projecting ledges di-
vide the pyramids into three unequal por-
tions.  In some of these buttresses are
niches, embellished with pilasters which sup-
port a complete entablature. At the base
of these niches is a projecting sill, undoubt-
edly a device for the purpose of giving
greater space or depth in which to place
statues. On the concave surfaces of these
niches and the entablatures it is possible
that the architects designed to have frescoes,
as such decoration is often found on both
exterior and interior walls, although some-
times it has been covered by vandal white-
washers. In several of the Missions, the
spandrels of the arches show evidence of
having been decorated with paintings, frag-
ments of which still remain.
   Figure IV represents San Luis Rey, by
many regarded as the king of California
Mission structures. In this illustration will
be seen one of the strongest features of this
style, and one that, as I shall show, in my
following article, has had a wide influence
upon our modern architecture. This fea-
ture consists of the stepped and curved sides
of the pediment.
  I know no commonly received architect-
ural term to designate this, yet it is found at
San Luis Rey, San Antonio de Padua, Santa
Inez, and at other places. At San Luis Rey,
it is the dominant feature of the extension
wall to the right of the fayade of the main
  On this San Luis pediment occurs a lan-
tern which architects regard as misplaced.
San Gabriel: east end

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