Richard Requa Photograph Collection, circa 1910-1939 (MSS 785)

Extent: 2 Linear feet (5 archives boxes)

Photographs by the architect Richard S. Requa (1881-1941), primarily from his travels in Spain, the Mediterranean, and North Africa in the 1920s, and also documenting a small number of residential projects in Southern California. Requa was known for developing the Spanish Revival architectural style and his photographs were used as inspiration and references for his design work.

This biographical statement is adapted from the Cultural Landscape Foundation (

Born in Rock Island, Illinois (1881), Requa moved to San Diego with his parents in 1900, where he attended Norfolk College and studied electrical engineering. He received his architectural training by working as an on-site project supervisor for the famed San Diego architecture firm of Irving J. Gill. Requa went on to establish his own firm, dominating the San Diego scene during the booming 1920s. In 1934 Requa was appointed Master Architect for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, held in Balboa Park, drawing on his studies of the historical heritage of the Spanish Colonial style, the Pueblos of the Southwest, and the Moorish features from Spain and North Africa. Throughout his career, Requa made extended trips to the Mediterranean to study architectural details and garden design. His studies resulted in the development of a regionally distinct style of architecture based heavily on Mediterranean design influence. Requa died of a heart attack at the age of 60 while at work in his office.

Additional brief biographies of Requa are available on the House of Pacific Relations website (, and Wikipedia (

Photographs by the architect Richard S. Requa (1881-1941), who travelled extensively in the 1920s to gather design concepts utilized in his work. Requa photographed buildings, gardens, architectural details, street scenes, landscapes, and people. The collection contains prints primarily from his travels in Spain, the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Pueblos of the American Southwest. The collection also includes one folder of prints of the California Missions (unlike the European and Pueblo prints, Requa did not take these photographs himself), documentation of Balboa Park, a small number of residential projects in Southern California, and street scenes in downtown San Diego. Requa was known for developing and popularizing the Southern California Spanish Revival architectural style, and his photographs were used as inspiration and references for his design work.

Requa published many of his travel images in two architectural guidebooks; these are referenced in the Related Materials note, and are organized at the beginning of the collection.


Old World Inspiration for American Architecture: Photographs & Text, by Richard S. Requa (1929) [catalog record]

Architectural Details, Spain and the Mediterranean, by Richard S. Requa (1926) [catalog record]

Container List


Published Prints

Box 1 Folder 1-12
Architectural Details, Spain and the Mediterranean (1926) - Original prints
Box 1 Folder 13-24
Old World Inspiration for American Architecture (1929) - Original prints

By Location

Box 1 Folder 25
California missions

Includes photographs by Coronado photographer Harold A. Taylor.

Box 1 Folder 26
Algeria - Algiers
Box 1 Folder 27
France - Toulouse

Doorway detail.

Box 1 Folder 28-29
Italy - Sardinia, Cattero, Naples, Tivoli, and Pompeii

Building exteriors; garden urns and pottery.

Box 1 Folder 30


Box 5
Spain - Photograph album

Also includes some images of Havana and Santiago, Cuba.

Box 1 Folder 31

Building exteriors; ornamental ironwork.

Box 1 Folder 32

Building exteriors; doors and windows; stonework.

Box 1 Folder 33

Courtyard garden.

Box 1 Folder 34-35

Doorways; street scenes; garden details.

Box 1 Folder 36-38

Building exteriors; gardens and courtyards; ornamental ironwork.

Box 2 Folder 1

Building exteriors; wells.

Box 2 Folder 2

Street scene; ornamental ironwork

Box 2 Folder 3

Building exterior.

Box 2 Folder 4-5
Palma de Mallorca

Building exteriors and courtyards; garden details and wells.

Box 2 Folder 6-7

Building exteriors; garden details.

Box 2 Folder 8

Building exteriors; doorways.

Box 2 Folder 9-13

Building exteriors; door, window and ceiling details; gardens and wells; Palacio de las Dueñas (Duke of Alba residence); ornamental ironwork

Box 2 Folder 14

Building exteriors and interiors.

Box 2 Folder 15-16

Rooftop view; carved wood details.

Box 4 Folder 3
Box 2 Folder 17

Includes details of nail-studded wood doors.

Box 2 Folder 18
Yugoslavia - Trau and Spalato (Split)
Box 4 Folder 1-2
Unidentified - Sepia tone prints in numbered sequence (likely Spain; Europe)

By Subject

Box 2 Folder 19
Pueblo architecture - Contemporary examples, ca. 1920
Box 2 Folder 20-22
Pueblo architecture - Acoma, Taos, Uribe
Box 2 Folder 23
Building exteriors and street scenes
Box 2 Folder 24
Church edifices
Box 2 Folder 25
Doors and windows
Box 2 Folder 26
Gardens, courtyards and fountains/wells
Box 2 Folder 27
Interior staircases
Box 2 Folder 28
Ornamental ironwork


Balboa Park, California Pacific International Exposition (1935)

Box 3 Folder 1
Miscellaneous views, 1935
Box 3 Folder 2
Ford Building, 1935
Box 3 Folder 3
House of Hospitality courtyard

Includes images of D. Hord's "Woman of Tehuantepec" sculpture and fountain.

Box 3 Folder 4
House of Pacific Relations cottages
Box 3 Folder 5
Palm Canyon bridge
Box 3 Folder 6
Water features
Box 3 Folder 7
Hollywood Hall of Fame Building
Box 3 Folder 8
Electricity and Varied Industries Building
Box 3 Folder 9
Aerial views
Box 3 Folder 10
Copy photos of concept art for California Pacific International Exposition grounds by J. B. Larrinaga, 1934


Box 3 Folder 11
1313 10th Avenue, Coronado (Neill residence)
Box 3 Folder 12
3131 Zola Street, San Diego (Heller residence)
Box 3 Folder 13
Princess Street, La Jolla (Wyman residence)
Box 3 Folder 14
Miscellaneous custom-built homes, likely San Diego area, ca. 1925
Box 3 Folder 15
Miscellaneous custom-built homes, likely San Diego area - Garden details, courtyards
Box 3 Folder 16
Street scenes, downtown San Diego, ca. 1925

Includes view of San Diego Consolidated Gas & Electric Co. building, Kettner Blvd., and near Santa Fe Depot (train station).

Box 3 Folder 17
Rural views
Box 3 Folder 18
Metal fittings/door trim details


Box 4 Folder 4
San Diego Old Town proposal with quote and photographs, ca. 1935-39
Box 4 Folder 5
Book cover design for Real California Homes: How to Plan and Build Them, undated