Pueblo Revival architecture

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Franciscan Hotel, 1943
Pueblo Revival corbel, hand-carved from ponderosa pine, at the Bandelier National Monument Visitor Center

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.


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. Common features of the Pueblo Revival style include projecting wooden roof beams or "vigas", which sometimes serve no structural purpose[1], "corbels", curved, often stylized, beam supports and "latillas", which are peeled branches or strips of wood laid across the tops of vigas to create a foundation (usually supporting dirt or clay) for a roof.


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.[2]

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. Nearly all subsequent university buildings have also employed the Pueblo style, albeit in increasingly loose interpretations.[3]

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 Revival style on all new buildings in central Santa Fe. This ordinance remains in effect, meaning the Pueblo style continues to predominate.[4]

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[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whiffen (1969), pp. 229–233
  2. ^ Whiffen (1969), pp. 229–233
  3. ^ Hooker (2000)
  4. ^ Harris (1997), pp. 3–6


  • Harris, Richard (1997). "National Trust Guide: Santa Fe. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-17443-2
  • Hooker, Van Dorn (2000). "Only in New Mexico: An Architectural History of the University of New Mexico, the First Century 1889-1989. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0-8263-2135-6
  • Whiffen, Marcus (1969). American Architecture Since 1780. Cambridge: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-23034-8