Monterey Style Homes

A Defining Feature of Montereys is
a Second-Floor with a Balcony

This style emerged in 1853 when Boston merchant Thomas Larkin relocated to Monterey, Calif. The style updates Larkin's vision of a New England Colonial with an Adobe brick exterior. The Adobe reflected an element of Spanish Colonial houses common in the Monterey area at the time. Later Monterey versions merged Spanish Eclectic with Colonial Revival styles to greater or lesser extents.

Larkin's design also established a defining feature of Montereys: a second-floor with a balcony. At the time one-story homes dominated the Bay Area.

In today's Montereys, balcony railings are typically styled in iron or wood; roofs are low pitched or gabled and covered with shingles--variants sometimes feature tiles--and exterior walls are constructed in stucco, brick, or wood.

Design elements

Monterey style architecture shares many elements with the very closely-related Mission Revival and Pueblo styles of the West and Southwest, and is strongly informed by the same Arts and Crafts Movement that was behind those architectural styles. Characterized by a combination of detail from several eras of Spanish and Mexican architecture, the style is marked by the prodigious use of smooth plaster (stucco) wall and chimney finishes, low-pitched clay tile, shed, or flat roofs, and terracotta or cast concrete ornaments. Other characteristics typically include small porches or balconies, Roman or semi-circular arcades and fenestration, wood casement or tall, double–hung windows, canvas awnings, and decorative iron trim.
California Romantica: Spanish Colonial and Mission-Style Houses. - A collection of the most significant, yet hardly seen, residential archetypes of the Spanish Colonial and California Mission styles, by noted architects such as Wallace Neff,, George Washington Smith, Lilian Rice, Paul R. Williams, and Richard Requa, among others. Featuring whitewashed stucco walls with cloistered patios, tile roofs and lavish gardens, every house displayed is a rare tour de force, splendidly appointed using authentic Monterey furnishings, Navajo rugs and California tile.

Suggested Home Styles Books

See also