Pasadena Public Library to host presentation on city’s Hispanic-influenced architecture – Pasadena Now



The Pasadena Public Library invites the community to participate in an online presentation Wednesday exploring the history of Hispanic-influenced architecture in Pasadena and around the world.

The seminar will begin at 4 p.m. via Zoom and will be presented by Dave Nufer who serves as a program developer and docent for Pasadena Heritage and the Los Angeles Conservancy, organizers said.

“This presentation focuses on how the Spanish / Hispanic / Latin architectural design vocabulary has evolved over a thousand years and across four continents, and how it has been used here in Pasadena,” said the library in a written statement.

“He examines many local examples including the San Gabriel Mission, Castle Green, Caltech Campus, Civic Center, 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival style homes built by George Washington Smith, Wallace Neff and many more. , as well as more recent projects with a Hispanic influence. like the Del Mar station, ”the statement said.

The architectural style of the Spanish colonial renaissance dates back around 1,000 years, Nufer said.

“So there you had a fusion of Islamic, North African, Roman and Spanish architectures and a lot of what we think of as design vocabulary has now appeared there for the first time,” he said. -he declares. “… The kind of exterior plain stucco walls, the red tiled roofs, a concentration inside the house on courtyards and gardens, the use of arches or arches, the use of tiles of colored ceramics and a concentration inside the house on aquatic elements such as fountains or ponds.

“So it developed initially in Spain. Then you had Italian Renaissance influences, then the development of a more elaborate emotion – it’s called Baroque architecture, which developed in Italy and moved to Spain and then to the New World and really flourished in Mexico, ”according to Nufer. “And then these three traditions arose beyond the American border when the California missions were founded.”

Built in 1771, the San Gabriel mission is one of the earliest examples.

“The missions were a very simplified version of these more elaborate forms from Mexico and Spain because they had very limited resources at the border,” Nufer said. “The San Gabriel Mission which was founded or built in 1771 is a very simplified style of mission with two corner towers, a stuccoed adobe brick exterior and a red tiled roof with an interior courtyard surrounded by an arcade. . “

Although Pasadena is best known for its Craftsman-style architecture, like the famous Gamble House, “… there’s probably more Hispanic style and influenced architecture here than any other style,” Nufer said. “You will see it in residences, in multi-unit buildings, in our town hall, in the library, in many churches, in schools. It is a style of glue that goes very well with other architectural styles. And we have a lot of different architectural styles in Pasadena, so that helps keep them together to create a cohesive cityscape.

Pasadena’s old mill dates back to the early 1800s, he said.

“Castle Green, which is one of the most important and outstanding examples of Hispanic style architecture, was built in the 1890s. Pasadena City Hall and Central Library were built in the late 1920s. Caltech’s original campus from around 1916 to the early 1930s was built almost entirely in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. The Pasadena Playhouse dates from around 1927, ”said Nufer.

To reserve a seat and receive a link to the Zoom meeting, visit

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