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.