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Spanish Colonial Style: Santa Barbara and the Architecture of James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig

Written by Pamela Skewes-Cox and Robert Sweeney, Contribution by Santa Barbara Historical Museum, Photographed by Matt Walla, Introduction by C. Ford Peatross

  • October 13, 2015
  • Hardcover
  • Architecture - Buildings - Residential
  • Rizzoli
  • 9 x 12
  • $55.00
  • $55.00
  • 978-0-8478-4612-2

About This Book

An ode to the classic Spanish-style houses of Santa Barbara. Spanish Colonial Style celebrates an extraordinary tradition in architecture whose hallmarks include whitewashed stucco and plaster walls, wood-beamed ceilings, dramatic fireplaces, and, above all, mystery and romance. Homes in this much-loved style of architecture welcome the visitor and embrace the resident, and architects James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig, early proponents of the style and influential disseminators of it, were masters of the form. Their work, until now, has been largely underappreciated and little seen. 
The Craigs played pivotal roles in the development of the Spanish Colonial Revival and of other styles of architecture in Santa Barbara, and the influence of their work spread much beyond that. In addition to shining a long overdue spotlight on the rich career of these tremendously influential architects, Spanish Colonial Style also heralds Santa Barbara as the small city of international importance that it became in the first half of the twentieth century.

About the Author

Pamela Skewes-Cox is an artist and writer based in Massachusetts. Robert Sweeney is the author of Casa del Herrero: The Romance of Spanish Colonial. C. Ford Peatross is founding director of the Center for Architecture, Design, and Engineering at the Library of Congress. Matt Walla is the photographer of Casa del Herrero.


  • "The red-tile roofs, white stucco walls, and wood-beam ceilings that have become synonymous with Santa Barbara’s Spanish-derivative architecture are owed as much to architects James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig. . . [Spanish Colonial Style] anthologizes James Osborne Craig’s works spanning 1915 to 1922 and Mary McLaughlin Craig’s later embellishments (from 1923 until 1956), creating a fluid evolution of the aesthetic that made Santa Barbara architecturally relevant on an international scale."
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