The Gamble House

National Historic Landmark

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, 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, in the true hand-crafted spirit of the Arts and Crafts Movement. No detail was overlooked - every peg, oak wedge, downspout, air vent, hardware and switchplate is a contributing part of the single design statement and harmonious living environment. The house is a symphony in wood, with interiors carried out in teak, maple, Port Orford cedar, redwood and oak; each piece artfully selected and hand-rubbed to a satin finish. Iridescent glass adorns doors, windows and light fixtures which change color as the day passes and diffuse subtle patterns of light throughout.

In an era of high technology, the unique and painstaking handcraftsmanship exhibited at The Gamble House demonstrates design and construction principles respectful of nature which acknowledge the continued significance of pride and human spirit in the art of building.

The Gamble House
4 Westmoreland Place

In the 300 block of North Orange Grove Boulevard,
three blocks north of Colorado Boulevard
and near the intersection of the 134 and 210 freeways

Pasadena, California 91103-3593


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Copyright 1996
Last updated December 15, 1999