THE GAMBLE HOUSE IN PASADENA CELEBRATES 50 YEARS AS A MUSEUM

The Gamble house was constructed in 1908-09 as a summer home by the Cincinnati Gambles, of Procter and Gamble, as their winter residence. The three-story Gamble House is commonly described as America’s Arts and Crafts masterpiece. Its style shows influence from traditional Japanese influence and a certain California spaciousness born of available land and a permissive climate.

On January 17, 2016 it celebrated a milestone as the perfectly-preserved craftsman home marked 50 years as a museum open to the public. The house and furnishings were designed by brothers Charles and Henry Greene, who elevated the style of American arts and crafts to a new level. Rooms in the Gamble House were built using multiple kinds of wood; the teak, maple, oak, Port Orford cedar, and mahogany surfaces are placed in sequences to bring out contrasts of color, tone and grain.

Outdoor space was as important as the interior spaces so porches are found off three of the second floor bedrooms. The landscaping includes a main terrace that features patterned brick paving, planting areas and a large pond.

In 1966, the Gambles gave their home to the city of Pasadena and the University of Southern California. It was not made a national historic landmark until 1978, which means it could easily have been sold and demolished. Sitting atop a rise above Pasadena’s Westmoreland Place, looking exactly as it did in the early 1900s, the Gamble House is a prime example of affluence during this era.

An interesting note, some may recognize or maybe have a Deja vu feeling about this house and that may be because you’ve seen it before. The house was portrayed as the home of  Dr. Emmett Brown in the Back to the Future movies. It was described as the “Brown Mansion” in a newspaper article.in the first film of the series.

In eight years, the house will be open to the public as long as it was a family home, but thanks to a family’s generosity, Gamble House will last far longer. So next time you’re looking for something interesting to do on a nice sunny day, take a trip to the Gamble House in Pasadena.