Glossary of Building Terms

Adobe  Mud brick made of clay and sand that is dried in the sun, usually stabilized with straw.
Banco  A sculpted bench made of adobe and covered with plaster.   Usually is set into the wall or formed from the wall.
Bull nose Plaster  Plaster shaped in a curve around window and door openings
Canale  A roof spout that carries water off a flat pueblo roof.  
Casa  House
Casita  Small residence or guest house.
Clavo  Spanish for "nail", used  recently to refer to a decorative pattern of nails.
Corbel  A projection from the face of a wall or  lying on top of a post  supporting a beam.  Also known as zapata.
Cornice   A horizontal decorative detail on the top edge of a building or cabinetry.
Coved Ceiling   Concave plaster formed between vigas.
Coyote Fence    Fence typically made of cedar poles set upright.
Gringo Blocks  Wood blocking set into an opening in an adobe wall to attach doors or windows; also known as "rough bucks"
Hacienda   Large House
Horno  Freestanding beehive-shaped adobe bread oven found outside at most pueblos and Indian homes.
Kiva Fireplace   A small beehive-shaped  interior fireplace.
Latillas  Small branches or poles used as ceiling planking or lath made of aspen, pine or cedar.
Lintel   Wooden beam bridging window or door openings.
Manta De Techo   Cotton muslin tacked on the ceiling, under the vigas to catch dust.
Nicho  Small niche carved into a wall.
Parapet  A low protective wall or barrier at the edge of a balcony, roof, bridge, or the like
Portal  A porch or roofed outdoor area adjacent to the house.
Saltillo Tile  Simple fired earthen tile made in Saltillo, Mexico.
Stucco  Final cement color coat plastered in the exterior of an adobe-style building.
Talavera Tile  Colorful hand-decorated Mexican tile used for counter tops and trim.
Vigas  Round logs used as ceiling beams, either shaved or raw.
Zaguan   Covered entrance between the outside and an enclosed patio

Other Things You Hear In Santa Fe
Anasazi  Ancestral Pueblo Indians; the "Ancients".
Arroyo  Dry riverbed
Acequia  Irrigation ditch.
Alameda  Spanish for "Cottonwood Tree.'' This word has come to mean a road bordered by cottonwoods.
Bosque  Low-lying area near rivers, densely forested with cottonwoods and other deciduous trees.
Camino  Spanish for road
Farolito  "Little Lantern", typically a paper bag with a sand ballast and candle, lighted for Christmas festivities. Referred to as a Luminaria outside of Santa Fe.
Kiva   Native American religious structure, often round.
Luminaria  Fire built on the sidewalk on Christmas Eve for carolers to gather around.
Paseo  Passage or walkway, or ``to promenade.''
Piñon Tree   High-desert nut-bearing evergreen tree.
Plaza   Main town square
Puerta   "Door" in Spanish.
Santo   Image or statue of a saint or holy person.
Trastero  Cupboard,  upright cabinet or closet
Ventana  "Window" in Spanish.

Traditional Pueblo houses have many of these features:

Due to Spanish influence, Pueblo Revival houses often have:

About the Pueblo Style Since ancient times, Pueblo Indians built large, multi-family houses, which the Spanish called pueblos (villages). In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Spanish made their own Pueblo homes, but they adapted the style. They formed the adobe into sun-dried building blocks. After stacking the blocks, the Spaniards covered them with protective layers of mud.

Pueblo Revival houses became popular in the early 1900s and are still a popular style in the southwestern regions of the United States. These modern-day Pueblos might not be made of adobe. Instead, some contemporary adobe homes are made with concrete blocks or other materials covered with adobe, stucco, plaster, or mortar.

There are several variations on traditional Pueblo architecture:

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