Eagle Rock

Carnegie Libraries in the
   Mission/Spanish, Colonial Revival

The Mission style was a significant California statement, an indigenous style to counter the domination of east coast influences, strongly advocated by Charles Fletcher Lummis and Willits Polk before the turn of the century. The Spanish Colonial Revival is associated with the work of Bertram Goodhue at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

The two styles share many characteristics: arches, usually semicircular, sometimes segmental, without moldings; tiled roofs, low pitched, hipped or gable with curvilinear gable ends, or behind parapets; walls plastered. Frequently there are balconies, towers, or turrets, capped by domes or tiled pyramid roofs; less frequently, there is sculptural ornament. In the Spanish Revival, there are fewer arches, more ornamentation, and often a variety of textures. In most of the twenty-seven California Carnegies of these styles, Spanish or Mission details are mixed with Classical elements.

Of the extant buildings, those most clearly Mission in style are Woodland, St. Helena, Monterey, and Eagle Rock. The Santa Barbara Carnegie, several times remodeled, more closely exemplifies the Spanish Revival. Extant Carnegies incorporating Classical detail with Mission and Spanish elements are Mills College, Pacific Grove, Dixon, Corning, San Anselmo, Exeter, Oakland/23rd Street, Oakdale, and (as originally planned) Calexico.

Riverside, Santa Ana, and Hayward, completed between 1903 and 1906 and all since demolished, incorporated towers with domed and pyramidoidal roofs, balconies, arches, and curvilinear gable ends, and were much more exuberant representatives of Mission style than any that remain. Also no longer standing is a slightly larger group incorporating Classical detail with Mission and Spanish elements: Los Gatos, Palo Alto, Visalia, Selma, Fullerton, Porterville, Coalinga, Inglewood, Chula Vista, and Concord.

Two libraries originally constructed in other styles now exemplify the Mediterranean Revival style: the 1905 Romanesque Chico, after extensive remodeling in 1939; and the 1908 Classical Revival South Pasadena as remodeled in 1930.

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