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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 331


FRANCISCAN MISSION BUILDINGS
Yet the Fathers' motive for its presence is
clear: that is, the uplifting of the Sign
whereby the Indians could alone find salva-
tion.
   In the fayade at San Luis there are three
niches for statues: one on either side of the
doorway, and one in the center of the pedi-
ment. It will be noticed that the faqade is
divided into three unequal portions. The
ends of the two outer walls of the main
building are faced with pilasters which sup-
port the cornice of the pediment. Below
the cornice and above the entablature is a
circular window. The entablature is sup-
ported by engaged columns, upon which
rests a heavily molded cornice; the whole
forming   a pleasing  architectural effect
about the doorway, the semi-circular arch
of which is especially fine.
  It will be noticed by reference to Figure
IV that on the towers at Santa Barbara
there is a chamfer at each corner. At San
Luis Rey this detail is different, in that the
chamfer is replaced by an entire flat surface.
The tower thus becomes an irregular octa-
gon, with four greater and four lesser sides.
These smaller sides answer the same decora-
tive purpose as the chamfer at Santa Bar-
bara. The same idea is also worked out in
the dome, which is not a hemisphere, but
which prolongs the exaggerated chamfers
of the stories below.
  There is little doubt that the original
design provided for a second tower to be
erected at San Luis Rey, uniform with the
existing one.
  Santa Inez, shown in Figures V and VI,
presents pleasing features. Here the fatade
is exceedingly simple; the bell tower being
a plain wall pierced as at San Gabriel. The
same pyramidal feature, used here as an
ornament for the four corners, and the
curved pediment please the eye, and satisfy
the desire for strength and grace. The rear
view, Figure VI, shows the massiveness of
the walls and the extra reinforcement of
them by means of the buttresses.
   While simple and chaste, the two churches.
of San Carlos Borromeo-one in the ancient
town of Monterey, and the other seven miles
away in El Carmelo Valley-have a peculiar
interest and fascination, since they were the
home-churches of the saintly Serra himself,
At the Valley church, Figure VII, lovingly
called Carmelo by the neighboring people,
Serra lived, worked, prayed, died and was
buried. By Padre Casanova it was restored
some fifteen years ago, and the body of
Serra was sought, identified and recovered.
Here the egg-shaped dome, surmounted by
an ornament holding up the cross, is the
principal architectural attraction, although
the starred window of the faqade, under the
semi-circular cornice, and the ornamental
doorway are also striking and pleasing fea-
tures.
  At San Carlos de Monterey the faqade
and tower are of entirely different character,
although superficial observers remark upon
the similarity of these features to those of
the Valley church. The tiled pyramidal
covering of the tower is especially pleasing
as is seen in Figure VIII.
  Padre Mestris, the lineal successor of
Padre Serra in the control of the spiritual
and temporal affairs of this Mission, is now
contempating an addition to the church at
Monterey. His plan is to build a house for
himself and his associates, and to connect it
with the church by means of an arched and
tiled corridor; the whole to be in harmony
with the existing architecture. A distin-
                                      331


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