San Francisco de Asis
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Location Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico   map
Date 1772 to 1816   timeline
Building Type church
 Construction System masonry, adobe with timber rafters
Climate desert
Context rural
Style Mission Precursor to American Southwestern style
Notes simple earth-tamped geometry


Photo, exterior, back end view

Photo, exterior front overview



Plan Drawing

Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

  Contributions appreciated

3D Model
3D Massing Model (DesignWorkshop 3dmf)

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Discussion San Francisco de Asis Commentary

"It is understandable why the apse of this mission church has been so often photographed and painted: it proclaims geometric satisfaction mixed with naive forthrightness. That what we see today is, in a measure, fortuitous does not diminish the impact: San Francisco's tamped-earth buttresses are partially ad hoc additions to sustain walls endangered by floods and erosion."

"The Latin Cross main body of San Francisco, measuring 35 feet wide by 125 feet long, is of small interest: the towers are amateurish and the entry out of scale. The interior, with two modest windows in thick masonry walls plus a roof transept, receives only a subdued natural light, in provocative contrast to the clinically illuminated, wood-framed New England meeting houses of the same period. Hot bright climate versus cool, cloudy—Spanish Catholicism versus New England Congregationalism."

— G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. p116.

Sources on San Francisco de Asis

Howard Davis, University of Oregon. Slides from photographer's collection. PCD.2260.1012.1702.100. PCD.2260.1012.1702.102. PCD.2260.1012.1702.101.

G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. LC 90-30728. NA200.S57 1990. discussion, p116. close-up photo, p117.

George Kubler. The Religious Architecture of New Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1973. LC 72-86823. NA5230.N6K8 1973. plan drawing at window level, f13, p36. Historical American Buildings Survey, 36 NM 3, sheet 3. plan drawing at ceiling level, f13, p36. Historical American Buildings Survey, 36 NM 3, sheet 3. longitudinal section drawing, f13, p36. Historical American Buildings Survey, 36 NM 3, sheet 3.

Joy Overbeck and Wolfgang Pogzeba. Ranchos de Taos, San Francisco de Asis Church. Photographs by Wolfgang Pogzeba. Kansas City: The Lowell Press, 1981. exterior photo from outside ctyd, pX. interior photo of nave, p45.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about San Francisco de Asis


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