The David B. Gamble House
4 Westmoreland Place
Greene & Greene 1908
The Gamble House was designated a National
Historic Landmark in 1987, and is currently administered by a joint agreement of the City
of Pasadena and the University of Southern California (donated by the heirs of Cecil and
Louise Gamble in 1966). The informative guide to the house explains:
The David B. Gamble house, constructed in 1908,
is the internationally recognized masterpiece of the turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts
Movement in America. Built for David and Mary Gamble of the Procter and Gamble Company,
the house is the most complete and best preserved example of the work of architects
Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene who made a profound impact on the
development of contemporary American architecture.
Greene and Greene broke sharply from the
academic traditions of their time, using nature as a guide rather than the dictates of
popular historical styles. The design of the Gamble House, while in part inspired by the
wood-building vernacular traditions of such cultures as the Swiss and the Japanese, is a
unique statement drawn from the life and character of Southern California. Wide terraces
and open sleeping porches facilitate indoor-outdoor living, careful siting and
cross-ventilation capture the cool breezes of the nearby Arroyo Seco, and broad,
overhanging eaves shelter the house from the hot California sun. Wood is celebrated in the
Greenes use of articulated joinery, exposed structural timbers and shingles which
blend sensitively with the landscape.
In the Gamble House, furniture, built-in
cabinetry, paneling, wood carvings, rugs, lighting, leaded stained glass, accessories and
landscaping are all custom-designed by the architects, and were created in the true
hand-crafted spirit of the Arts and Crafts movement. No detail was overlooked. Every peg,
oak wedge, downspout, air vent, hardware fitting and switchplate is a contributing part of
the design statement and harmonious living environment.
Christy Rogers, 1998
How to visit
The Gamble House is located in the 300 block of
North Orange Grove Boulevard; three blocks north of Colorado Boulevard near the
intersection of the 134 and 210 freeways.
The Gamble House docents offer tours Thursday
through Sunday, from noon to three (tours are 1 hour long). There are no advance
reservations, but ticket sales start at 11:30 am.
Call +1 626 793 3334 or fax +1 626 577 7547 for
more information, as Arroyo neighborhood walking tours and in-depth house tours may be
scheduled by appointment. There is a great bookstore on the premises, and the Greene &
Greene Library is not far away. The library is a resource for scholarly research located
at the Huntington Library in San Marino, and is open by appointment only. Call +1 626 405
Books and other web
no 'www') run by the University of Southern California School of Architecture gives a more
detailed description of the house as well as up-to-date visitor information.
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