Project Progress Report

The majority of my work on this project has been spent taking photos of Mission Revival sites. This can be rather time-consuming because if I spot a building while driving I’m not always able to stop for a picture so I need to take note of its location and come back another time.

While I could probably find photos of most of these buildings online and use them for my project, I think taking the pictures myself is worth the trouble. Not only do I feel more ownership over the project, I can get photos from the angles I want and I’ve had fun seeing the buildings in person. I have gotten some funny looks when I’m taking pictures of Taco Bells but for the most part when people see I’m taking pictures of a building they start to look at that building more closely. That was my main intention for the project – to elevate Mission Revival buildings out the ubiquity and prevalence of this style throughout Southern California. It is nice to think that at least a few people have spent a few seconds considering Mission Revival buildings, even if it is to think, “why is someone taking a picture of that?”

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Mission Revival style facade on an apartment building in Barrio Logan, San Diego.

I’d estimate that I’ve posted half of the photos I’ve taken to my Omeka site. While doing so, I realized that I can add more than one file to an item on Omeka so now I’m taking multiple pictures of each site instead of trying to take one picture to represent the building.

I still have a few more sites I’d like to take pictures of and I keep adding buildings to my list of sites to photograph. I can’t help but evaluate buildings while I’m driving around: is that too Mediterranean? Spanish Colonial Revival? Santa Fe Style? The blending of architectural styles sometimes makes it hard for me to decide if a building has enough Mission Revival elements to be considered for my project. Red tile on the roof does not a Mission Revival style make. Ultimately, I’ve abandoned my need to find “textbook” examples of this style because of the fact that it is so adaptable.

Since my proposal, some aspects of my project have changed. I do not think creating a timeline will be very interesting. Maybe later on if more sites are “collected” it would prove engaging but right now I have too few sites and not all of them have dates to add them to a timeline. Speaking of dates, I have changed my standards for building citations. While looking into the architects, builders, and dates for all these buildings would satisfy my curiosity, I do not think it is vital to the project goal and I’m not sure how long it would take. With the end of the semester looming, I believe I’ll leave those out if I cannot find the information with a reasonable amount of searching.

The last change to my project has been including a category of Mission Revival “stuff” (better name to be determined). This idea was sparked while driving on The 101 recently when I saw the freeway dividers are embossed with bells, an outline of a mission, and some palm trees. My aim in including this category of “stuff” is to gain a sense of who is using mission imagery and for what aim/ purpose. For example, in the case of Mission® tortilla chips, mission imagery is used to sell a product.

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