Designing America. Spain's Imprint in the US

Project image: 
Santa Barbara, Court House 1929, W. Mooser/Fort San Juan

As part of EUNIC Protecting Our Heritage Project, Designing America Public Programs organized by the Embassy of Spain bring together U.S. historians and experts to talk about a wide range of topics relating to Spain ́s contributions to the United States throughout the centuries.

EUNIC Protecting Our Heritage exemplifies how countries can work together to rediscover and protect our shared heritage and make it relevant for our present cultural identities. 


“The Spanish and Mission Revival in the United States, 1880-1940” by Richard Guy Wilson.


Date: Thursday, February 18 at 6.30 pm

Location: The Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain (2801 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20009)

Spanish architecture had an impact in what is now the United States in two distinct periods, rst in the 17th and 18th centuries in the South West and California through missions and a few dwellings, and then in the later 19th and early 20th century through what is called sometimes, the “Spanish” Colonial Revival and the “Mission Revival.” This talk will consider this “revival” of Spanish forms and ornament in buildings and how it helped shape an American identity. Buildings of all types, from skyscrapers to houses, will be considered and how the idea of the Spanish Colonial was transmitted.


Richard Guy Wilson holds the Commonwealth Chair in Architectural History at the University of Virginia where he has taught since 1976. A frequent lecturer for universities, museums and professional groups, he has also curated numerous exhibitions on the Arts & Crafts Movement and on Thomas Jefferson and published many articles and books including: The American Renaissance (1979), McKim, Mead & White Architects (1983) and The Colonial Revival House (2004). 



The Sixteenth Century Spanish Colonial Vision: Connecting East and West from Santa Elena to New Spain.

Date: Saturday, February 27 at 12 pm

Location: The Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain (2801 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20009)

Spanish conquistador Pedro Menendez de Avilés founded Saint Augustine in 1565. In 1566, Menendez moved the bulk of his colony to Santa Elena, located on today’s Parris Island Marine Corps Base near Beaufort, South Carolina. From December 1566 to 1568, Captain Juan Pardo led two Spanish army expeditions from Santa Elena through the South Carolina coast, into the Piedmont and mountains of North Carolina. His mission was to establish a roadway and a series of forts to northern Mexico.

Pardo relied on existing Native American roads to make his way as far as the southern Appalachian Mountains. Along these native pathways his army camped at more than 30 Native American settlements and he built forts at six of the Native towns. The rst of these forts was Fort San Juan, established at the town of Joara. Although Pardo failed in his mission to reach northern Mexico, the six forts were occupied for 18 months before they were destroyed by their local host communities. These forts represent the earliest European settlements in the interior of the United States; 18 years before the English “Lost Colony,” at Roanoke and 40 years before Jamestown.

The complex story of this early expansion of a European colony in North America is poorly understood by most Americans. This presentation brings archaeologists and historians from Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina to tell the story of St. Augustine, Santa Elena, and Fort San Juan.


Dr. David Moore received his MA and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina. He served as the North Carolina Of ce of State Archaeology’s Western Of ce archaeologist for 18 years before becoming a full-time faculty member at Warren Wilson College. Dr. Moore has directed the archaeological investigations at the Berry site since 1986. He is the author and co-author of numerous book chapters and articles. Dr. Moore is leading 450th anniversary commemoration events for the overland trail of Juan Pardo, which originated at Santa Elena.

Dr. J. Michael Francis is one of the nation’s leading experts on the Spanish colonial experience in Florida. Dr. Francis has received more than two dozen national and international awards and has written and edited ve books and numerous book chapters and articles. His most recent book, St. Augustine: America’s First City, is a richly illustrated volume that chronicles the history of St. Augustine.

The Santa Elena Foundation Board of Directors named Andrew J. Beall as executive director July 10, 2014. In addition to his duties as a member of the Board of Directors, Beall has responsibility for operational leadership and administration of the foundation. Dr. Beall brings to this role extensive executive experience as a global corporate leader. Beall received his doctorate in business administration from the School of Advanced Studies at University of Phoenix.