Architect: John Carpenter and Garrett H. Baker Year Built: 1925/6 Architectural Style: Spanish Revival
Buena Vista Court was built in 1925/6 and is comprised of eight Spanish Colonial Revival bungalows arranged in two rows around a courtyard. No two houses are exactly alike and each house proudly displays varying Spanish Colonial details.
Despite variety, the bungalows are tied together by elements of the Spanish Colonial revival style. Each unit varies in shape, size, color, and detail but all the houses have stucco walls painted in bright colors with a clay tile roof. Each house has a unique roof parapet, paint color, and stucco application. Some units have projecting wooden rafters extending through the walls. Some units have wooden porch overhangs. A variety of window types can be found on the bungalows. Some windows are grouped together while some stand alone. Some windows have decorative muntins, some are single-pane fixed windows, and some windows have brick window sills. Some windows are rounded arches, and some windows have iron decoration near the sill. Each house has a unique entrance and a unique roof parapet with irregular, rounded edges. Some roof parapets are decorated with brick. Each house has a varying pattern of stucco. Some are rough, some are smooth and each has a different stroke pattern imprinted. Some of the colors found include teal, yellow, orange, white, green, peach, and rose. The bungalows lined around the courtyard create an intimate community, evoking the idea of a Spanish neighborhood.
Buena Vista Court, a National Register and Local Historic District was built in the mid-1920s. Orginally named West Elm Court, Buena Vista Court is a set of bungalows built around a central courtyard. In the original construction, there were also eight garages along Springfield Ave., which have since been razed. The court occupies Lots 5, 10, and 11 of Block 8 of Joseph W. Sim Jr's Addition to Urbana, platted on March 30, 1858.
While Carpenter and Baker have been noted as the architects of Buena Vista Court, it is possible that they simply modified existing plans for the local development. According to an interview with University of Illinois Architecture Professor Paul Kruty, Southwestern architecture found its way into home design in the 1920s via plan books.