Design Notes: Monterey Architecture

Monterey Style architecture emerged in California in the 1930’s.  Named after the city in Monterey home located in PasadenaCalifornia where it emerged  originally an off shoot of local Spanish architecture blended with east coast influences.  It is be a truly indigenous style of architecture created in California.  Introduced by Thomas Larkin, a Boston merchant relocated to Monterey, California.  He envisioned blending New England Colonial with adobe construction and built one of Monterey’s most prominent homes.  This home combined southwestern understated elegance & function with east coast colonial and introduced a new building feature the second floor balcony.  Since most homes were one story in Southern California at the time the second story was viewed as an advance in lifestyle.  There are entire neighborhoods of these homes in Southern California.


Monterey homes are two stories in height a simple rectangle or L-shaped in plan.  The defining feature of a Monterey home is a cantilevered covered balcony on the second floor.  Balconies may be partial or full width. Balcony railings can be wood or iron.  Roofs are simple and  low pitched, gable ended; generally covered with clay tile or shingles.  Exterior surfaces are finished in brick, stucco or wood resulting from the blending of Spanish & New England styles.  It is not unusual to use different exterior materials on the first and second floors.  Windows are often divided light wooden casement or double hung sash and frequently have shutters.  Balconies often have full length windows or doors that open on to them.  Early Monterey homes often incorporated more Spanish detailing.

While there are not many Monterey homes in the Scottsdale area Phoenix has several neighborhoods where you will find them; Encanto & Palmcroft neighborhoods.