Who would know that a short drive exiting the 210 Freeway in Pasadena is a world so foreign from the freeway the obscures this other life - and lifestyle. Historic homes on graceful tree-lined boulevards showcase the best of California architecture.
Not all the houses are available to see, but one in particular is--The Gamble House. It provides an example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture. By the time you finish a tour, you'll be versed on the history of the architects who designed the home, and prominent Proctor & Gamble family that left the Midwest and set up base in this humble abode, which includes the finest materials and craftsmanship, even by today's standards.
The house and furnishings were designed by Charles and Henry Greene in 1908 for David and Mary Gamble of the Procter and Gamble Company. The house, a National Historic Landmark, is owned by the City of Pasadena and operated by the University of Southern California and is open for public tours. For those on a budget, it is possible to park your car and wander the grounds for the Brown Bag Lunch events, or the free museum open house days.
Renowned Pasadena architects Charles and Henry Greene worked closely with David and Mary Gamble of the Procter and Gamble Company to build a winter home. Led by Scandinavian craftsman woodworkers Peter & John Hall 17 species of wood were used in the house and furnishings that today are recognized as one of the greatest achievements in American architecture and craftsmanship.
The Gamble House was such an ideal place, David and Mary Gamble lived there until their deaths in 1923 and 1929, respectively. Custom-designed furniture for the house remains in it on view, and thanks to Gamble family descendents, the house was deeded to the city of Pasadena in a joint agreement with the University of Southern California School of Architecture after 1966.
When you visit, take a tour or drive around the historic Arroyo Terrace neighborhood to view this National Register historic district, home to nine Greene & Greene houses as well as the works of other noted architects such as Myron Hunt, Edwin Bergstrom, Elmer Grey, and D. M. Renton. Among the houses are the personal residences of Myron Hunt and of Charles Greene, who added to his house over a number of years as his design ideas evolved.