California Pacific Exposition San Diego 1935-1936

The House of Pacific Relations
Spanish Village

The Spanish Village and the House of Pacific Relations were originally conceived as a unit, but were separated later as the functions of each were defined.

Frank Drugan changed the name of the foreign section to House of Pacific Relations, located it at the entrance to the Palisades, and changed its design to “California hacienda architecture.” Despite the Pacific Ocean emphasis of the Exposition, the “pacific” in House of Pacific Relations meant peaceful. Construction of fifteen cottages began in November. Davidson said the houses were to be reproductions of Spanish and Mexican haciendas. The small, tan, red-tiled cottages that emerged were not copies of anything, though their style was that of peasant houses in Andalusia. Their simple shapes and low massing blends well with their landscaped surroundings. Consular officials of twenty-one nations used the diminutive houses for meeting places rather than for commercial or government purposes. Then, as now, the life of the colony revolved around its plaza where festivals of participating countries were celebrated.

The Spanish Village complex consisted of art, curio, flower, music and wine shops, a children’s theater, a Chinese bazaar, a cocktail lounge, and restaurants. One and two-story buildings joined at the sides were painted white and topped by red-tile roofs in a variety of angles. Olive trees, potted flowers, fountains, seats and stalls adorned patios and the large central plaza. The San Diego Union reported the north portal was inspired by the Puerto del Castillo de Siquenza in Castile.