Indianapolis Public School #84, Joseph Bingham School, 440 East 57th Street

Spanish Colonial Revival. The Spanish Colonial Revival, or as it’s also known, Mission, is a revival style dating from the first decades of the Twentieth Century. Although there are not many Spanish Colonial Revival structures left in Indianapolis, I believe it is a unique style worth exploring. The style drew from the design ideals represented in early American/New World Spanish structures. The revival gained popularity in California in the late 1890s and eventually spread across the entire United States. The Spanish Colonial Revival usually includes features such as an ornate parapet or dormer, arched entranceways or openings, widely overhanging eaves, red or green tile roofs, ornate metalwork, and a stucco wall surface.

Although there are few remaining examples of the style in Indianapolis, I’ve found two that showcase the Spanish Colonial Revival. The first is Indianapolis Public School #84, Joseph Bingham School, at 440 East 57th Street. Designed by the architectural firm of J. Edwin Kopf and Deery and constructed in 1927, the school is one of the IPS structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Although a contemporary addition is found on the building, the original structure exhibits several Spanish Colonial Revival details, including a low-pitched tile roof, parapet wall, and elaborate arched entranceways. However, the exterior material is brick, an atypical display of the style.

Rivoli Theater, 3155 East 10th Street

Another example is found at 3155 East 10th Street, the historic Rivoli Theater. Also constructed in 1927, the Rivoli Theater was designed by Henry Ziegler Dietz as Universal Studios’ first theater in Indiana. The structure originally featured a red tile roof which has been replaced with red asphalt tile. Other typical Spanish Colonial Revival details include the parapet walls and dormers, and ornate metal work, including brackets. You can learn more about the efforts to restore the Rivoli Theater on their website.

Although I’ve featured a school and commercial example of the style, numerous residential examples exist in Indianapolis.

Add it to your vocabulary – how might one use today’s Building Language term in their everyday life?

I fell in love with the Spanish Colonial Revival house, which reminded me of my vacation in Santa Fe.

2 responses to “Building Language: Spanish Colonial Revival”

  1. Tom says:

    There’s a pretty impressive spanish revival in Wynnedale, I think on roland rd.

  2. Gary Raikes says:

    I am bringing 50 visitors from a Spanish company to Indy, and am looking for a place to hold a dinner that is connected to Spanish history and/or culture. Can you recommend anything. Please feel free to call me immediately at 317-752-5151.

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