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  • Writer's pictureAsma Aslam

The Gamble House in Pasadena, California: An Architectural Marvel

Updated: May 19, 2023

The Gamble House is a historic residence located in Pasadena, California. Built in the early 20th century, it is widely recognized as an architectural masterpiece and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In this article, we will delve into the history and design of this iconic building, exploring its unique features, construction, and legacy.

History of The Gamble House The Gamble Family The Gamble family, who commissioned the house, were prominent businesspeople and philanthropists. David B. Gamble was the son of James Gamble, co-founder of Procter & Gamble, a consumer goods company. David and his wife, Mary, moved to Pasadena in the early 1900s and commissioned architects Charles and Henry Greene to design their new home.

The Design The Greenes were known for their innovative and distinctively American approach to architecture, incorporating elements of the Arts and Crafts movement and Japanese aesthetics. The Gamble House was designed in the Craftsman style, which emphasized natural materials and a harmonious relationship between the house and its surroundings.

Construction Construction on the Gamble House began in 1908 and was completed two years later. The house features a unique system of interlocking timbers and mortise and tenon joints, which were handcrafted by skilled artisans. The interior of the house was designed with a focus on functionality and comfort, with built-in furniture and fixtures that were specifically tailored to the needs of the Gamble family.

Features of The Gamble House The Exterior The exterior of the Gamble House is characterized by its large overhanging eaves, extensive use of wood, and prominent use of stone. The house is situated on a sloping lot, and the Greenes designed the house to take advantage of the natural landscape, incorporating elements such as a Japanese garden and a courtyard with a reflecting pool.

The Interior The interior of the Gamble House is equally impressive, featuring a series of interconnected rooms with distinctive design elements. The living room, for example, features a large fireplace with an intricately carved mantel, while the dining room includes built-in cabinetry and leaded glass windows. The house also includes a music room, a library, and a billiards room, among other features.

The Furniture One of the most distinctive features of the Gamble House is its original furniture, which was also designed by the Greenes. The furniture features intricate details and a high degree of craftsmanship, and was designed to be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.

The Legacy of The Gamble House Preservation The Gamble House has been carefully preserved over the years, with efforts to maintain its original character and design. In 1966, it was designated a National Historic Landmark, and it continues to be a popular tourist attraction and cultural landmark.

Influence on American Architecture The Gamble House, and the work of the Greenes more broadly, had a significant impact on American architecture. Their innovative approach to design and construction, and their incorporation of elements from different cultural traditions, helped to shape the development of American architecture in the 20th century.

Conclusion The Gamble House is a true marvel of American architecture, showcasing the unique vision and skill of its designers and builders. Its distinctive features, from its interlocking timbers to its original furniture, continue to inspire and captivate visitors today.


1. Can you tour the Gamble House? Yes, the Gamble House is open for tours. You can purchase tickets online or in person at the visitor center. 2. Is the Gamble House wheelchair accessible? The Gamble House is partially wheelchair accessible. 3. Can you take photographs inside the Gamble House? Photography is not permitted inside the Gamble House, but you are allowed to take photos of the exterior and in the courtyard. 4. Is there a gift shop at the Gamble House? Yes, there is a gift shop located in the visitor center, which offers a variety of books, souvenirs, and other items related to the Gamble House and its history. 5. What other attractions are located near the Gamble House? The Gamble House is located in the heart of Pasadena, which offers a variety of cultural and recreational attractions, including museums, theaters, and parks. Some popular nearby destinations include the Norton Simon Museum, the Pasadena Playhouse, and the Rose Bowl Stadium.

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