The Gamble House and the Family who lived there was brought to life by Matthew, our docent as he led us through the National Historic Landmark. David and Mary Gamble, of the Procter and Gamble Company commissioned the Gamble House 100 years ago as a retirement residence. A team of gifted craftsmen labored for 11 months to create The Gamble House, designed by architects Greene & Greene. Led by general contractor Peter Hall, and his brother, John, Scandinavian craftsman woodworkers, they turned, joined, carved, and rubbed 17 species of wood into the house and furnishings that today are recognized as one of the greatest achievements in American architecture and craftsmanship. The furniture, wood carvings, built-in cabinetry, rugs, paneling, lighting, leaded stained glass, accessories and landscaping were all custom-designed by the architects, and were created in the true hand-crafted spirit of the Arts and Crafts movement. Every detail was taken into consideration, every peg, oak wedge, downspout, air vent, hardware fitting, etc. contributed to creating a home that was completely congruent.
One of my favorite things about the home was the exquisite stained glass art in the windows in entry hall and in the dining room. In the entry hall was the design of a tree with gorgeous leaves on the branches. We were told that for years there was much discussion as to what type of tree it was supposed to depict. Perhaps the question was settled when a Japanese tourist said it was a particular tree that grew in Japan. That would make sense since the Greene’s had a definite oriental influence in their work.
The gorgeous stained glass in the dining room changes colors according to the time of day.
In 1966 The Gamble House was presented by the heirs of Cecil and Louise Gamble to the City of Pasadena in a joint agreement with the University of Southern California in the interest of its cultural heritage and historic preservation.
All Photos © Judith Orr