Pueblo Style Homes

A Regional Architectural Style of the Southwestern United States

Taking its cues from Native American and Spanish Colonial styles, chunky looking Pueblos emerged around 1900 in California, but proved most popular in Arizona and New Mexico, where many original designs still survive.

The style is characterized by flat roofs, parapet walls with round edges, earth-colored stucco or adobe-brick walls, straight-edge window frames, and roof beams that project through the wall. The interior typically features corner fireplaces, unpainted wood columns, and tile or brick floors.

The Pueblo Revival Style is a regional architectural style of the Southwestern United States which draws its inspiration from the Pueblos and the Spanish missions in New Mexico. The style developed at the turn of the 20th century and reached its greatest popularity in the 1920s and 1930s, though it is still commonly used for new buildings. Pueblo style architecture is most prevalent in the state of New Mexico.

The Desert Home - Written by freelance writer and professional interior designer Tamara L. Hawkinson provides the reader with a magnificent and memorable trip through a variety of American Southwestern homes which are overflowing with flavor, personality, charm, and illustrate a love for the desert life style. Warm earthen tones dominate the styles portrayed here, which are all delightfully illustrated with many living-color photos, and lengthy comment using a "reader friendly" style. To put it simply, it's terrific idea source book when trying to find a western motif or desert for sprucing up any area of your home


Pueblo style architecture seeks to imitate the appearance of traditional adobe construction, though more modern materials such as brick or concrete are often substituted. If adobe is not used, rounded corners, irregular parapets, and thick, battered walls are used to simulate it. Walls are usually stuccoed and painted in earth tones. Multistory buildings usually employ stepped massing similar to that seen at Taos Pueblo. Roofs are always flat. A common feature is the use of projecting wooden roof beams (vigas), which often serve no structural purpose.


Although the regional architecture from which the Pueblo Style draws its inspiration is confined to New Mexico and parts of Arizona, the style first appeared in California. Boston architect A. C. Schweinfurth used it for a number of his buildings in California, beginning with a hotel in Ventura which was completed in 1894.

The Pueblo Revival Style made its first appearance in New Mexico at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where it was adopted by president William G. Tight for a number of projects completed during his tenure. The best-known of these was his 1908 remodeling of Hodgin Hall, though a new heating plant and the Estufa were completed earlier. All subsequent university buildings have also employed the Pueblo style, albeit in increasingly loose interpretations.

The other stronghold of Pueblo style architecture is Santa Fe, where it was popularized in the 1920s and 1930s by a group of artists and architects seeking to establish a unique regional identity. In 1957 a committee led by John Gaw Meem drafted the Historical Zoning Ordinance, which mandated the use of the Pueblo Style or Territorial Style on all new buildings in central Santa Fe. This ordinance remains in effect, meaning the Pueblo Style continues to predominate.

Pueblo style houses are still frequently constructed in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and elsewhere. Updated versions of the style have also been used for newer commercial and public buildings such as the Albuquerque International Sunport terminal (1966) and the newer UNM buildings.

Notable buildings

  • Estufa, UNM, Albuquerque (1906)
  • Hodgin Hall, UNM, Albuquerque (1908)
  • Franciscan Hotel, Albuquerque (1922, demolished)
  • La Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe (1922, remodeled 1929)
  • Laboratory of Anthropology, Santa Fe (1930)
  • Bandelier CCC Historic District , Bandelier National Monument (1930's)
  • Scholes Hall, Albuquerque (1934)
  • Zimmerman Library, UNM, Albuquerque (1938)
  • Old Airport Terminal, Albuquerque (1939)
  • Painted Desert Inn, Petrified Forest National Park (1940)

Suggested Home Styles Books

See also