Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Gamble House

photo of the Gamble House pond by John Sandel

Oh, gush gush gush.

After nearly six years of Pasadena living, John and I finally visited a Pasadena icon--thanks to the generous invitation of the Public Relations Manager at the Gamble House. We loved it. Our tour was so interesting I want to go back again and again.

In case you don't know, the 1908 Gamble House is one of America's finest examples of Arts and Crafts architecture and the crowning achievement of Pasadena architects Charles and Henry Greene. I especially loved how much of it (a lot) is intact. With the exception of the velvet ropes that keep one from bumbling about, catching one's heels on rare Persian rugs and knocking over the Steuben glass, the home is furnished as it might have been 100 years ago, with many original pieces. 15 watt bulbs glow softly in the custom light fixtures, thanks to the original wiring. It's dim! I guess in those days people had to depend on sunlight coming through the custom-made stained glass windows.

photo of the eaves by John Sandel

Thank goodness John came with me. His photos are inspired. Mine--enh. Some days you have it and some days you don't. But don't tell that to Greene and Greene. Real artists create whether they're inspired or not. That's how you make it your life's work.

The architects designed not only the home but every detail from light switches to furniture, with thematic motifs running through chair backs, window glass and mantelpieces. Even the piano was custom made.

I could go into further detail about the details, or you could take a tour of the Gamble House and stand in that famous foyer yourself while you learn things like:
Why is it called the Gamble House?
Who built the items that Greene & Greene designed?
Is there a ghost?
How old is that creeping fig out front?
Who owns the house now?
Who lives there? (Someone does!)

For information about tours, call the Gamble House at 626-793-3334. You can take a general tour like the one we took, or find out about more detailed tours. Check the website.

Then let us know what you thought. If you like Pasadena history, I think you will gush gush gush.

29 comments:

Dina said...

The only dull part of your gushing post is the 15 watt bulbs.

Shell Sherree said...

Oh, I love John's photos. If I wasn't sitting down, I'd be dizzy. Those velvet ropes sound very sensible.

Katie said...

Sounds like I need to put The Gamble House on the top of my list for next time. I did enjoy the outside of the house and the grounds, but the inside sounds amazing. Wonderful photos!

Steuben said...

Good thing those velvet ropes are there, wouldn't want any rogue visitors destroying the Steuben ;-)

Steven said...

This is a gem of a house. Nice that it was been brought back to it's original glory.

Petrea Burchard said...

Hee hee, Dina! Actually, it gives the lamps a warm glow.

Shell, when we came home from the tour I was so disappointed with my photos. John's shots dazzled me. His left brain was turned on by that place.

Katie, it's a grand house. I think you'd love it.

Ha! Very clever, Steuben. (Click on Steuben's name.) The Steuben glass at the Gamble House is antique, of course, and much of it is original to the house. So is the Tiffany.

Steven, from what I understand the house has always been well cared for, though I'm sure restoration is ongoing. Many original pieces were lost but many are still there, and "original glory" is apt. One really does see how the house was furnished in 1908 or so.

Trish said...

amazing how locals forget to tour the touristy things about their area.

I was a senior in high school before I ever set foot on the ToR/Wrigley Mansion property and finally got a tour. If I recall correctly, I was in college, attending the wedding of a friend before I got to the Gamble House too.

Lovely shots---good job John!

And yeah, some days, the mojo for taking pics just doesn't happen. Once, I realized my camera batteries were almost dead AFTER I fought with the dang thing for 1/2 hour and gave up. Guess that's why you have a tag-along, to make sure one of you gets good shots!

Jose Ramon Santana Vazquez said...

...traigo
sangre
de
la
tarde
herida
en
la
mano
y
una
vela
de
mi
corazón
para
invitarte
y
darte
este
alma
que
viene
para
compartir
contigo
tu
bello
blog
con
un
ramillete
de
oro
y
claveles
dentro...


desde mis
HORAS ROTAS
Y AULA DE PAZ


COMPARTIENDO ILUSION
PETREA

CON saludos de la luna al
reflejarse en el mar de la
poesía...




ESPERO SEAN DE VUESTRO AGRADO EL POST POETIZADO DE MEMORIAS DE AFRICA , CHAPLIN MONOCULO NOMBRE DE LA ROSA, ALBATROS GLADIATOR, ACEBO CUMBRES BORRASCOSAS, ENEMIGO A LAS PUERTAS, CACHORRO, FANTASMA DE LA OPERA, BLADE RUUNER ,CHOCOLATE Y CREPUSCULO 1 Y2.

José
Ramón...

Petrea Burchard said...

Yep, Trish, and I haven't been to the Tournament of Roses house yet, either.

In my defense, I will say that I visited the Art Institute of Chicago many times while I lived there. Well, at least a couple.

Welcome, José Ramón, gracias for your visit. My Spanish is not so good, so here's what Google Translate makes of your poetic comments:

bring ...
blood
of
the
later
wound
in
the
hand
and
a
Sailing
of
my
heart
for
invite
and
give
this
soul
that
comes
for
share
you
your
beautiful
Blog
with
a
nosegay
of
gold
and
Carnations
inside ...

from my
BROKEN HOURS
PEACE AND CLASSROOM

SHARING ILLUSION
STONY

WITH regards to the moon
reflected in the sea of
poetry ...

I HOPE YOUR PLEASURE IS IN THE POST Poetess MEMORY OF AFRICA, CHAPLIN MONOCULAR NAME OF THE ROSE, ALBATROS GLADIATOR, HOLLY Wuthering Heights, ENEMY AT THE GATES, CUB, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, BLADE Ruun, CHOCOLATE AND TWILIGHT 1 Y2.

altadenahiker said...

Damn, and I though Jose loved only me.

Petrea Burchard said...

I know. Me, too. Then I found his poem on your site and I got suspicious. Bet we'll find him at Margaret's next, or Shell's, or Dina's.

Petrea Burchard said...

By the way, Trish, I just want to mention that John is more of a husband than a tag-along. But I get your meaning.

pasadenapio said...

I'm glad you finally got there after all this time! I encourage everyone to tour the Gamble House, including the wonderful bookstore.

Ted Bosley and all the staff and docents are delightful.

The Gamble House is owned by the City of Pasadena and managed by the USC School of Architecture.

Margaret said...

Oh, gush, gush. What a cool picture that top one is Love the Gamble House. We went last year.

Petrea Burchard said...

The bookstore is in the original garage. Very cool.

And PIO has answered one of the questions!

Glad you gush, too, Margaret.

Virginia said...

Well gush on, cause when I come back out there you're going to have to make another visit avec moi! :) Great shots Petrea.
V

Petrea Burchard said...

With pleasure, V.

Italo said...

Wonderful photos.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

About Jose: I see you failed to mention finding him on my site. I'm hurt. Whaaa, a dead cat isn't aluring?

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, Italo. I'll tell John you said so.

PA, I couldn't mention everyone, and I was kind of doing an around-the-world thing (LA, Israel, Australia...) Did he come to your site?

TheChieftess said...

This is one of my favorite spots in the Pasadena area!!! The tour is wonderful and well worth doing over and over!!!

Love the second photo in particular!!! Not bad for a tag along!!!

John Sandel said...

I heard that.

Gina said...

I love going to the Gamble House. Just being inside the house makes me feel calm and happy. And of all the rooms, the kitchen is actually my favorite. I fantasize about having a kitchen like that some day.

Petrea Burchard said...

I thought the kitchen was beautiful, too, Gina. It's almost empty--maybe that's why. You can really see the cabinets, the walls, the sinks. A lovely room.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Sorry. It was my attempt at humor (emphasis on attempt). I wasn't serious

Petrea Burchard said...

Shoot. I was hoping he'd come over there and whispered sweet nothings.

jb said...

And just around the corner from the History Museum.
Went to Gamble 2 years ago, also the Hollyhock house in Hollywood. BIG contrast.
Gamble featured in one of the "Back to the future" movies

Petrea Burchard said...

Hi JB; yes, I believe it was the exterior of the doc's (Christopher Lloyd's) house.

I haven't been to Hollyhock House. I need my hand slapped.

jb said...

Hollyhock's worth a visit, but it's horribly dysfunctional. FLW exceeded his budget to the extent that the customer ran out of money to complete the entire project. Sounds familiar....