Call Or Text Us Anytime 602-492-6875

Historic Phoenix Homes with HomeSmart Central Phoenix

Mission Revival Spanish Architecture in Phoenix: The Ultimate Guide

Mission Revival Spanish

Mission Revival Spanish architecture in Phoenix is a beautiful variation of Spanish style design. Scroll below to learn which historic Phoenix neighborhoods have Mission Revival homes. You can also explore current featured listings. Plus, learn about the history, characteristics, and strengths and challenges associated with this architectural style.


Table of Contents

About Mission Revival Architecture

The Spanish Colonial style is influenced by Mediterranean, Spanish and Mexican architecture. It combines aspects from both residential homesteads and missions.

White stucco-coated walls and roofs shingled with red clay tiles give these houses their distinct look. The roofs are normally a combination of low-pitched gable, flat and shed styles. Small arched windows with wooden shutters are key design elements too, though many newer versions of these homes include double-hung windows. Arches are also frequently used in doorways and hallways, as well as outdoors over sheltered walking areas.

Spanish Revival homes are known for their rustic yet elegant look. Decorative wrought-iron is often featured in light fixtures, stair railings and front gates, while wooden beams line living room ceilings or exterior walls. Wooden beams originally served as support for heavy ceilings, but today they’re usually included solely for aesthetic reasons. Other interior highlights may include colorful tile work, smooth plastered walls and fireplaces.

Courtyards are another common component of these homes. They may be located at the center, side or rear of the house. They’re perfect for al fresco dining or to simply relax and hang out in a private outdoor setting.

Many of the early features of Spanish Colonial architecture were included out of necessity and practicality. In revivals, they still serve a practical purpose, especially in the hot Arizona climate, but the beautiful simplicity and historical significance of the style are what’s most admired today.

The majority of these homes are small casitas and large ranch-size houses, but you can also find grand two- or even three-story villas. In addition to historic homes, there are many new houses with Spanish Colonial architecture. Some really capture its original essence, while others take only small design cues from the style.

Mission Spanish Revival Architecture in Phoenix History

Also known as Spanish Mission style (1890s-1920s) — Distinguished by their curved parapets and Spanish Baroque ornamentation, Mission Revival homes have an elegant look. This style was developed in southern California near the turn of the century when period revival architecture was immensely popular. It’s based on mission churches that were built in the 18th and 19th centuries, at a time when California was still a part of the Spanish colony known as New Spain. Priests constructed chapels with stucco-covered adobe walls, curvaceously shaped parapets, bell towers and red-tile roofs. These features are emulated in Mission Revival architecture, which gained acclaim and swept the southwest after being showcased at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

  • Missions Inspirations

    Golden State architect Arthur Page Brown designed the California State Building that was showcased at the Chicago World’s Fair. It was modeled after the Franciscan missions in California.


  • San Bernardino County Fair made the Mission Revival Spanish style of building famous.

    Coming To Phoenix

    Fair attendees loved the architecture and artifacts inside the building. The exhibit’s wild popularity ignited the Mission Revival movement in California, which quickly spread to the southwest and eastward.

  • Mission Revival Spanish

    Historic Mission Revivals

    Historic Mission Revival homes can be found in great condition throughout many Phoenix neighborhoods.

  • Luxury Mission Revival Spanish Home

    Widespread Influence

    Elements from Spanish architecture are seen in most new homes around the Valley. The exteriors often include stucco walls, tiled roofs and arched windows, while the interiors typically have modern Ranch style layouts.

  • Modern Mission Spanish Style Home

    Modern Replicas

    Custom designed Mission Revival homes can also be found in the Phoenix area. These modern renditions closely resemble original historic designs inside and out.

Mission Revival Benefits & Care Guide

Mission Revival Spanish homes are very well-suited for warm temperatures. Their thick, stucco-coated walls are effective at keeping heat out. The white color of the stucco also helps reflect sunlight. Smaller windows, which are often placed away from the sun, also help prevent excessive heat from getting in.

Long-lasting clay roof tiles are another benefit. They are highly durable, being resistant to wind, impact, rot and fire. They typically only need occasional maintenance and may last a lifetime if you take care to check them regularly for cracks and other possible damage.

Along with strengths, it’s important to understand potential problems with buying older homes, and each architecture type will present different challenges. Two things to look out for with Spanish Colonial homes are leaks and cracked stucco. Some are built with flat roofs that may leak because water cannot drain properly. Wood beams should also be checked for damage from moisture and insects.

While unlikely in Arizona, adobe is prone to expand and contract when regularly exposed to cold, wet weather. This can cause the stucco to crack or separate from the interior wall. In addition, cracked stucco may indicate that there are foundation issues with a house.

To learn more about new and historic Spanish Colonial Revival houses for sale in the Phoenix area, contact our real estate agents. We’re happy to answer any questions you have and can’t wait to help you find the perfect Spanish Colonial home for your family.

Phoenix Neighborhoods with unique Mission Revival Spanish Homes

Mission Revival architecture can be found in many historic Phoenix neighborhoods and other cities throughout the Valley. Explore neighborhoods with one-story homes, large haciendas and grand villas below.

Picture of Vanessa Clayton

Vanessa Clayton

Hey Central Phoenix, I’m Vanessa! I’m passionate about serving the Central Phoenix community, and look forward to introducing you to all the best neighborhoods, architecture, events, restaurants, and activities in and around town. With my 25 years in marketing, sales, coaching and real estate you won't find a more caring, dedicated, and qualified professional to serve your every need. I have worked with celebrities, public figures and families around the world. And will work for you like family! When I’m not filming, writing, marketing, and selling real estate, I enjoy spending my time dancing, cooking, baking, doing yoga and walking in and around Central Phoenix with my amazing partner, David, and our beautiful daughter, Luna.
Skip to content