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The Eclectic Period 1890-1915.


Subcategories include Italian Renaissance, Mission and Spanish Eclectic. California was the birthplace of these styles, and many of its landmark examples are located there. The earliest were built in the 1890s; by 1900 houses in these styles were spreading eastward under the influence of fashionable architects and national builders’ magazines. The style used decorative details borrowed from Hispanic cultures such as clay tiles, arched windows, and predominant hardware.

Excerpted from A Field Guide to American Houses, Virginia and
Lee McAlester, Alfred Knopf, New York, © 2000.


Entrance Door

  • Batten doors
  • Occasionally curved
  • Often with strap hinges
  • Emphasized by columns, stonework,
    tiles or pilasters


  • Board and batten, louvre

Garage Door

  • Vertical orientation of surface material
  • Blended trim boards to simulate batten
    door construction
  • Asymmetrical window placement
  • Grilles or other decorative hardware on
  • Curve top appearance if applicable