The term Period Revival refers to a wide range of historically based house styles favored by the American public for nearly half a century. A number of these styles, including Spanish Colonial, English Tudor, Mission, Pueblo, and French Norman were based on the indigenous building traditions of North America and Europe and were especially popular for domestic architecture built after World War I.
Various explanations have been offered for the popularity of these Period Revival styles, but whatever the reason, many of these historical styles began appearing in all types of architecture. According to Utah's Historic architecture 1847-1940, Copyright c1988 By Thomas Carter and Peter Goss., "These designs almost always displayed the architect's or builder's familiarity with the external, decorative features of the historical style rather than the building tradition, its formal features, or plan types."
Here in the Preston and Vella Ruth Hafen home, we see evidence of the Mission style in a Period Cottage. Vella Ruth worked closely with the builder to specifically achieve a Spanish style look to her home. She says that she and Pres used to travel, and they loved the Spanish architecture that was becoming popular during that time. The home was built in 1936.
The large, arched entryway stages a unique approach to the house and has always been a favorite part of the home. The arches gave Vella Ruth the look she admired, and they led to a porch that was shady during the heat of the day and allowed for a cool cross breeze. The arched porch is large enough for a small group of people or for children to play. In fact, this arched entryway has seen multiple circus acts performed by Hafen children and been the stage for many a neighborhood play. The porch also has been the scene for group singing, visiting, or just watching the time go by.
Preston and Vella Ruth have been the only residents in the home. From Preston's school-teaching days to his fruit-transfer business, to his beloved "cowboy" days on the Arizona Strip - this is where he came home. Vella Ruth, in turn, has been a local asset. She was a formidable woman as she reared her children and kept the entire town entertained. Vella Ruth sang in more than 200 different events, and she dazzled everyone with her imaginative sewing of party dresses, wedding dresses, costumes, and the like. One of her favorites was a eagle costume, complete with a paper mache mask that she made for herself. "No one knew who it was," she says. It is not surprising that she would oversee implementing a new and different type of architecture for Santa Clara.
The Mission style emanated from California at the end of the nineteenth century, based on the design of the old Catholic mission. Like the Spanish Colonial style, the Mission style relies upon red tile roofs, stucco wall surfaces, and simple geometric forms. Curvilinear gables, round arches, and arcades are also key features of the style. Little surface ornamentation is used, unlike the Spanish Colonial style. Utah's Historic Architecture, 1847-1940, Copyright c1988 By Thomas Carter and Peter Goss.