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A whimsical lamp pylon welcomes passersby to this beautifully-restored Santa Monica home dating from 1927.  Details such as the spindled wooden grille, bull’s-eye window, and broad-arched plank door provide a superb counterpoint to the large areas of stucco.  Large expanses of unrelieved wall pierced by relatively small windows in deep reveals are basic to the Spanish Revival aesthetic, a fact due to the physical attributes of traditional adobe construction.  Unlike brick, adobe was not fired in a kiln, but simply baked in the sun.  Hence, it was more susceptible to moisture--one reason it had to be kept whitewashed at all times--and also much weaker in compression than stone or brick masonry.  The latter shortcoming demanded thick walls and openings of modest size.  While arches provided a practical way to span relatively large openings, the extra labor they entailed led Spanish Colonial builders to reserve them for colonnades, principal entrances, or other monumental features.  For ordinary doors or windows, a heavy wooden lintel usually sufficed, although the opening width was limited by the strength of the wooden member.  For weather protection, windows and doors were often recessed back of the exterior wall plane, creating the deep reveal so characteristic of Spanish Revival construction.  One of the obvious flaws in Mission Revival design was the failure of many architects to recognize the visual cues of adobe construction, which led to two-dimensional renditions of “adobe” buildings that betrayed their obvious Victorian heritage.  Then, as now, finding the proper balance of window to wall was crucial to creating a plausible Spanish Revival design.