Spanish architecture has left an indelible mark on California architecture. The thick stucco walls, exposed beams, curved windows, red tile roofs and enclosed courtyards will forever endure as symbols of the California lifestyle.
While the roots of California’s connection to the Spanish style may be traced as far back as when the Spaniards first visited the territory in the mid 1500s (with settlements beginning in the 1700s), the Spanish influence did not spread until 1915 during the San Diego Panama-California Exposition. Architects such as Lilian Jeannette Rice and Bertram Goodhue popularized it in San Diego County during the 1920s and other coastal cities throughout the Golden State followed suit: Santa Barbara, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, San Luis Obispo, Carmel, Monterey and San Francisco. Often, Spanish Colonial Revival architecture was linked to Mediterranean Revival architecture, as many Mediterranean touches included a blend of Spanish Baroque, Moorish or Gothic elements to create an exotic, but harmonious appearance. The Mediterranean parallels were also environmental, as California was often described as having a “Mediterranean climate.” The architectural movement intensified during the period between the two World Wars, becoming the prevalent style in residential design through the 1940s. To this day, Spanish Colonial Revival style has become synonymous with California’s casual way of life. A typical Spanish Colonial Revival home in California feels authentic and one with the environment, often filled with sunlight and a sense of indoor/outdoor connection.
These two residences, listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, pay tribute to the classic California style in their own distinct ways, whether it’s through rich detail or luxurious touches. You might say they even have their own Southern California vs. Northern California interpretations.
Below, we explore their architectural qualities more in depth and pay homage to their unique place in our state’s — and nation’s — history.
Historic Casa Margarita in Pebble Beach
Price: $8,950,000 USD
Lot size: Approximately 1.6 acres
Square Footage: Approximately 6,600 square feet
Just the name itself sounds like a Mediterranean dream. Built in 1927 and protected by a gate, Casa Margarita beckons you inside with more than 6,600 square feet of living space and entices you with the promise of views stretching from Point Lobos, to Stillwater Cove and across the Pacific. The spacious back terrace, with its ocean-facing views and ideal position overlooking the pool, alone inspires visions of grand parties and family holidays. Inside, the warmth of traditional details, such as seven fireplaces, rich wooden beams and floors made of limestone, wood and brick, bring you back to a bygone era. A guest house — casita, if you will — offers additional privacy for whoever happens to fall under Casa Margarita’s spell. It’s a place that is timeless and magical and capable of inspiring through the generations.
New World Wonder in San Marino
Price: $4,688,000 USD
Lot size: Approximately .24 acres
Square Footage: Approximately 3,889 square feet
Thomas Jefferson once said, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past” — but what if you could have both? This modern Spanish Revival in San Marino manages to answer that question by blending touches of old world architecture with contemporary flair and brand-new construction. Built and developed by San Marino Homes, Inc., this gorgeous estate brings the best of today — such as an open floor plan complete with a spacious living room that opens up to a beautiful courtyard and sophisticated modern-day appointments, fixtures and finishes — with historically significant details such as barreled ceilings, intricate moldings, wrought iron work, marble and granite. There’s a delightful chef’s kitchen with all-new Sub-Zero stainless steel appliances, a walk-in pantry, and an oversized island with counter seating as well is a 2nd Wok prep kitchen. Upstairs, there’s also an expansive master suite with a large walk-in closet and elegantly marbled master bath, plus three impressive bedrooms — two of which have private attached baths. A main floor bedroom with en-suite bath is perfect for either as a guest room or a home office.
Out of these two Spanish stunners, which property inspires your real estate envy?
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