LA Architecture Tours, Sightseeing & Tourism

Pudleaux Tourism offers a variety of Architecture Tours in Los Angeles, California.
Featuring the Silver Lake Neutra Tour and LA Frank Lloyd Wright Tour

Los Angeles Architecture Tours: Gamble House: Greene & Greene, 1908

 

Pasadena is a treasure trove of historic architecture, and the Gamble House is one of its most beloved structures. The Gamble House is a significant piece of architecture, and the masterpiece of architectural firm Greene & Greene. The Brothers Greene and the Gambles both hailed from Cincinnati, but met in Los Angeles where the Gambles, of Proctor & Gamble, commissioned the Greenes to build their home. Pasadena was an extremely fashionable area to reside in in the early 20th century, as it was only 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles -then the cultural hub of the region. 

The Gamble House is a massive Craftsman style house, deeply intertwined with the American Arts & Crafts Movement prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Astonishingly, the house was built in less than one year, and is structurally comprised entirely of wood - seventeen different species to be exact, mostly from South American rainforests. The Gamble House itself was built at a cost of $50,000, the furnishings and details tacked on an additional $35,000. The Greene's embraced the Arts & Crafts concept of total design, and designed every element of the Gamble House including the artwork, rugs, and furniture. 

Although the Gamble House has a rustic feel to it, it was actually one of the most technologically modern houses of the early 20th century. It was one of the first houses in Pasadena to have electricity, and even had a built in intercom system for communication with servants.  

 

 

Walking through the Gamble House, one immediately senses a Japanese influence in its character. The Greene's moved to Pasadena in 1893, and en route to the Los Angeles area, they made a pit stop at the World's Columbian Exposition, more commonly known as the 1893 Chicago World's Fair where they were exposed to and enthralled with the Ho-o-den Japanese Pavilion -also said to have influenced the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. 

Today, the Gamble House is owned by the City of Pasadena in conjunction with the University of Southern California School of Architecture and remains the only unaltered work of Greene & Greene with all of the original art glass intact, and much of the original Greene & Greene furniture still in place. 

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