Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tile and Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture at the Homestead Museum


The hot, humid weather we've been experiencing in Southern California since last week has taken a toll on me. I am not used to the tropical weather, so I find my mind wandering.

The entry gates to La Casa Nueva at the Homestead Museum
The entry gates to La Casa Nueva at the Homestead Museum

However, with the stifling and oppressive heat, there is great news! We received some much-needed rain for our parched California lands. Also, as my mind continues to wander, I couldn't help but think of a getaway or vacation, so I thought I would share one of my favorite tile haunts here in California, The Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum.

The Moorish-inspired, Spanish door and entry of La Casa Nueva is meant to impress.

The Homestead Museum is a hidden gem that resides in the most unlikely of areas, the City of Industry, just outside of Los Angeles. The museum is a place to explore the history of the Los Angeles region from 1830 to 1930 through the hopes and dashed aspirations of two families. The six-acre site features the Workman House, an 1870s country home constructed around an 1840s adobe built by William and Nicolasa Workman.

Additionally, La Casa Nueva, a 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival mansion noted for its architectural crafts, was built by the Workmans' grandson Walter Temple and his wife, Laura. Additionally, El Campo Santo, one of the region's oldest private cemeteries, contains the remains of Pío Pico (the last governor of Mexican California), and other prominent pioneer families. Being a huge fan of Spanish and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, I'll share some of the highlights of La Casa Nueva or the New House.

The main entry with its central, open plan is impressive and filled with hand-crafted details like carved vegas, wood floors, and tiled stair risers.

La Casa Nueva is filled with bespoke details of Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture
The main entry is filled with bespoke details of Spanish colonial revival architecture.


A grand staircase with Spanish tile and tile floor molding in La Casa Nueva
A grand staircase with Spanish tile and tile floor molding in La Casa Nueva.

As you discover the grounds, with your guide, you'll also find some unique rooms like this barbershop embellished with cement tiles. Cement tile such as this remind me of Cuban tile barbershops found in Havana during the same time period.

Cement tile in the Barber Shop reminds me of Cuban Tile
Cement tile in the Barber Shop reminds me of handmade Cuban Heritage tile.

A close-up detailing the cement tile pattern found in the Barber Shop
A close-up detailing the cement tile pattern found in the Barber Shop.

I'll continue with this amazing tour of La Casa Nueva in August. It's a feast of design details and tile - everywhere you go.

Feeling inspired? Want to learn more about how to use tile that create the style and feel of Spanish and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture? This is one of our passions and we can help. Visit our Spanish Tile Design Center today!



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