It’s Historical

Saturday afternoon, we drove to Pasadena with our friends, Paul and Karen, to tour The Gamble House.  In the early nineteen hundreds, wealthy mid-westerners who wintered in Southern California began to build grand winter homes along a street known as Millionaire’s Row in Pasadena.  In 1908, David and Mary Gamble (as in Proctor and Gamble) commissioned architects, Charles and Harry Green to build their winter home on Westmoreland Street, passing up Millionaire’s Row for more privacy.   It was completed in 1909 and remained a Gamble residence until 1946, when they briefly considered selling it.  Discovering that the buyer planned paint the beautiful wood interior white, they took it off the market and gifted it to the City of Pasadena under a joint arrangement with the USC School of Architecture in 1966.  It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978 and a complete restoration, inside and out was completed in 2004.

The house, considered the foremost example of the Arts and Craftsman style of architecture, is simply beautiful.   The interior walls and surfaces are built with multiple types of wood, finished to show the grain and with all joinery exposed.   Many of the windows are multi-layered stained glass while both the lighting fixtures and furniture were designed by the architects and built especially for the house.  These are a few pictures I found on the web but you can see many more at the Gamble House website, here.

So, it’s Top Sites Tuesday #136 – Two Thoughts on Tuesday.   Thought Number One is that this is one of the best tours we’ve ever taken, right up there with seeing Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West.   The best thing about our tour is that we arrived early and were lucky to be on a tour with only one other couple, giving us ample time to see the house with an excellent (much more than decent) docent.  The tour took over an hour and as you might expect, guests were asked not to touch anything to preserve the surfaces.  Older Eyes is a very tactile person and it was REALLY hard not to touch all that beautiful wood.  Fortunately, we were allowed to hold the railings on the stairways, which satisfied my need to touch.

So, I’ve been thinking (I do a lot of that).   The Gamble House was 58 years old when it was donated to the City of Pasedena and USC.   It was 65 years old when it was designated a California Historic Landmark and 69 when it became and National Historic Landmark.   I’m 67.   I’ve got sixty-something aches and too much perma-fat.  I’ve got wrinkles, dry skin and age spots.   So here’s Thought Number Two: I could use a complete restoration inside and out.  Would anyone out there like to designate Older Eyes a Historic Landmark?   Anyone?   I’ll even allow tours.  No, no touching, not even my railings.  No takers?   Oh, well.  At least push my button … gently … to make me Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #136.  And if you ever get to Pasadena, be sure to visit the Gamble House.

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8 Comments on “It’s Historical”

  1. I don’t think landmarks are allowed to move. Call us when you’re stationary. 🙂

  2. Cheryl P. Says:

    Funny, thesinglecell!! Bud, when you are permanently stationary, you may not want or need restoration. I suspect I could use a complete restoration as well but the cost might come in at about the same price as the Gamble house’s did.

    It is really spectacular. I thought it was a picture of a Frank Lloyd Wright home when I first saw the pic.

  3. marjulo Says:

    Oh, do we love to visit historic homes! It really is spectacular. I wonder how Dave missed this when he lived in LA? That was also before he knew me. He is a retired architect–although architects are always architects–interested in design, interiors and anything related.

  4. SandySays1 Says:

    If you get to Ft Myers FL visit the Thomas Edison home and lab. They’re something to see!

  5. liggybeeg Says:

    I do love architecture of the past…many modern structures, as amazing as they may look sometimes, just don’t compare to that of our architectural greats in history.

  6. Wolfbernz Says:

    Hi Bud,

    Trina and I were lucky enough to spend a week in Pasadena last year when we were visiting Angelbaby. It was a wonderful town to visit and we had a great time.

    It would be an awesome project to build a house of the caliber.


  7. Trina Says:

    I think the Green and Green houses are amazing! The sheer talent that shines through in their homes is delightful.

    I agree with Wolf, it would be an amazing job to be funded today to design and build a house of that magnitude with that much attention to detail!

    Happy Tuesday!

  8. Coming East Says:

    Georgeous home! Wouldn’t you like to live there? Did you ever tour the Mark Twain house in Hartford when you lived in Connecticut? Considerably older than the Gamble House, but still a very lovely home and fun to visit.

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