Houzz TV: Meet the Gamble House, a ‘Symphony in Wood’

Houzz TV: Meet the Gamble House, a ‘Symphony in Wood’

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Houzz TV: Meet the Gamble House, a ‘Symphony in Wood’

Wood. If one word comes to mind when considering the houses of brothers Charles and Henry Greene, it is “wood.” They used lots of it, from the structure (beams and columns) to surfaces (walls, ceilings, floors) and even the furniture they designed. Yet their use of wood is as much about quality as quantity, for they exploited the wood’s potential through craft and raised the beauty of their architecture inside and out. Their manipulation and expression of wood broke from the applied decoration of the prevailing Victorian, Queen Anne and mission styles of the day, and in this light their architecture can be seen as modern.

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Mary Weimer, ASID
And can you believe that they are trying to tear down the Gamble's House in Cincinnati!???? True story, go to the Gamble house on Facebook!
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Becky Harris
One of my all-time faves - great ideabook John!
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Bill Fry Construction - Wm. H. Fry Const. Co.
Great story John -

Another factoid about the Gamble house - it took less than a year to build!!!

:) Rhoda
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Ginkgo Leaf Studio
Great article John! Love seeing the architectural plans, they are almost art in their own right.
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motherbear
I used this house as inspiration when we built our house.
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ivy15
I'm always delighted to read your articles. I learn so much from them!! Thanks for sharing.
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heathermisme
Your articles are so informative and educational. Love them!
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thickskin
If it is beautiful, someone or the government will want to tear it down and put up some nondescript concrete, steele,glass and granite cold, cold, cold square building. Just a matter of time.
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Kiler Photography
Ah, It was a British Man that I met while Photographing the Gamble House, maybe it was indeed Mr. Reyner Banham...?
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Your New Home LLC
I didn't realize that American carpenters were world re-known for their crud work! I renovate homes professionally. I come from a fine woodworking background and spend entirely too much time framing. But the sh%$! that is beneath the surface of virtually every home I work on makes me conscious that someday someone is going to see my rough framing too. It makes me want to do better than the generation of carpenters who came before me.

I love this house and the narrative was really well researched.
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Stone & Land, LLC
Thanks for the nice research and photos. Another great article. Also like the plans. Incredible wood working details.
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Stanhope Design
Absolutely exquisite detail...
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Kayt de Fever
"1.21 Gigawatts!"
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Mackin Drafting & Design
I have been a big fan of Greene & Greene for some time. It was nice to see you include part of the plans in the article. It is becoming a lost art in our computer generated society. I would definitely hang one of their blueprints up on my wall. Great article as well as the pictures!
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samanthaross
Many may also know this home as Professor Emmet Brown's home from the Back to The Future movie trilogies
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Ibhar
amazing .nice work
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oldblackdog
"It also means that the surfaces, predominantly mahogany, are soft to the touch — and irresistibly so at that." The surfaces come through s if they were satin even in the photos. I would love to visit and also see what the critic meant about what's visible in the attic! Thanks.

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mizzvw
The house is beautiful. I love the softening effect of the draping plantings. What is the name of the plants?
Thank you.
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madchatterbox20
My grandparents owned a house in Santa Barbara, CA for 40 years that was built by Greene and Greene and it was a magnificent house. It was like my second home. Very similar to the Gamble House in design.
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Elizabeth Olin
When visiting in Pasadena we took the "Behind The Ropes" tour of the Gamble House. It is stunning! (We didn't get to see the attic). We came home and redecorated our very simple bungalow to reflect the Arts & Crafts style. There is a book entitled "Greene and Greene: Masterworks" that is worth reading. This article is great but barely scratches the surface of how wonderful the Gamble House really is. Enjoy doing some research for yourselves. It will be time well-spent.
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Lois Winters
I love these wooden homes with all the porches. I wonder if the wood is in any way fire proofed or at least resistant these days? Especially those in So. Cal.? Or anywhere for that matter. Wood naturally breathes and is lovely if maintained properly.
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John B
Ww
S


Aaawwa
   
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Pamela Fisk

Thank you so much for that wonderful video presentation. What a treat! I'm going to skip the article for lack of time. I thought I knew about Arts & Crafts, but I learned a lot from this piece.

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mcdonaki

Oh yes! Thank You... wow... so wonderful! What a magnificent and regal gem! Please let the people who worked on the video and the gentleman who spoke what a wonderful job they did. I so appreciate their work to share this gorgeous piece of history and art. The passion and pride are appropriate to this treasure. I don't know if I will ever have the opportunity to visit but I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed the presentation. I learned a lot as well!


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Elizabeth Olin

Oldblackdog, if you have a chance to take the tour, check if they still have the one called "Behind the Ropes" tour. Its WELL worth the extra few dollars! Its actually an emotional experience. The beauty left us speechless.

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Sandy Roe
Another Greene and Greene example to visit and stay is the Lodge at Torrey Pines. A beautiful property all around.
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housequester

The attic is used as a conference room now and just has modern type chairs, etc, in it. As it was used for storage, there wasn't furniture specially built for it. What is spectacular about it is that it is encircled by those gorgeous windows. Most of the house is actually quite dark for much of the day. Then you go up into this attic and everyone says, "I'd love to live in this room!" The entire house is amazing. My father was a docent there for some years and my husband and I planned to take our wedding pictures on the grounds (free to the public) but as it rained that day, we had to find somewhere else. We were there again last November and we took a few pictures outside just for fun. It made me wish (again) we'd been able to take our wedding pictures there; it's just so gorgeous.

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woodfever.net
This is an exceptional video.
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Lou Cable
So Frank Lloyd Wright-ish! Love it!
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summilux

A home as fine furniture. The wonder of this property is that, while most high end properties are not anything I could relate to, or for that matter would want to relate to, the warmth, quality of materials and craft are just inspirational. I've toured the place twice, the last time 15 years ago and it's influence has not diminished.

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Gerald Lorentz

Just stunning work that luckily, when we lived in San Diego, we got to see.

Excellent reportage. However, pictures and videos do not do the house justice - it's got to be physically seen, touched, smelled and listened to as the sun expands the joints around midday. A Frat brother who worked there gave us a detailed tour that far exceeded what the normal tourist gets.

To this day, we still talk about our trip to the Gamble House and the San Simeon Hearst Castle. The juxtaposition of the excessive opulence of Hearst versus the subdued caressing feel of Gamble makes for delightful conversation when talking about California's architectural historical houses of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Thank you Houzz; a treat not to be missed if you're ever on the West Coast.

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tempestj56

I have never seen a house with such intricate and beautiful woodwork. I marveled at the workmanship of the wood, the way it curved and flowed and the beauty of the stained glass windows with the tree design. The home is truly beautiful and I don't know that the beauty could be replicated today even if the materials were available. Even the handrail that mimicked the steps was so unlike any I have ever seen. Such a clever, creative and innovative design! I enjoyed the tour though virtual and the home is magnificent.

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Jim Shipaila

very nicely done green and green home one of the better ones

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Gram 1954

Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece of art. Timeless masterpiece!


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01023010

What a treat to see this featured on HOUZZ. This home has long been my favorite, for all of the obvious reasons. The stunning architectural design has made me an Arts & Crafts fan since I first encountered it. If I get to California, it will be high on my list of things to see.

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marmarmish

Yes, indeed, it is truly a work of art! The woodwork is jaw dropping!! I will take NOTHING away from that.

But ... the commentator talked about the Burmese teak beams that had to be long enough to span the living room, using trees hundreds of years old that are no longer available, and he also mentioned how this cannot be reproduced today. True enough because it was this raping of the land that has left the forests devastated and barren, and no longer around for us to enjoy -- just so one family could build a fancy house. If you are lucky enough to have such wealth, you should endeavour to spend it with wisdom.

It leaves me looking at this beautiful house with a bitter taste in my mouth.

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JFK Design-Build, LLC

Love the warmth and beauty the wood brings into every room. Old world England feel to the decor. Love it!

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jrjdeyoung
Looks so much like the Frank Lloyd Wright in Buffalo!
   
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Shari
I just love these articles. I learn so much and get to explore stunning homes and gardens. Thank you for another jaw droppingly stunning home tour and informative article.
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C Crane

The interior reminds me so much of our former home, the Alice Pardoe historic 1913 Arts & Crafts stone and stucco home in Rochester, NY. Some idiot/s had laid down a layer of contact paper followed by layers and layers of WHITE paint over the gorgeous mahogany wall panels , benches and bookcases in the parlor! It took me at least a year just to get that back down to original wood. And that was just the beginning of the restoration, but all in a labor of love.

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Carol/Joe D'Alessandro

This house is probably the most beautiful house I have ever seen. I am currently trying to put my house back together after last years historic snow damage. I have done my cathedral ceiling in all wood and beams. I have wood floors, and tried desperately to pick paint or wallpaper for my house. I finally chose a gold tone/wood tone grass-cloth look, and after seeing the gold tones that were used in this Symphony of Wood, I think I may have made the right choice. The construction is not finished, and the wallpaper will not be ready for weeks, but I feel better about my long hard choice. Thank you for this wonderful 7 minutes of serenity!

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robynmiller44

Thank you! The Gamble house is one of the most beautiful homes in America. I have visited it once and plan to do so again. The video was very well done.

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Kiler Photography

Here's the rest of my Gamble House Photo session photographs... :-)


Greene and Greene Gamble House, Pasadena 1908 · More Info


Greene and Greene Gamble House, Pasadena1908 Staircase wall · More Info


Greene and Greene Gamble House, Pasadena 1908 · More Info


Greene and Greene Gamble House, Pasadena 1908 · More Info


Greene and Greene Gamble House, Pasadena 1908 · More Info


Greene and Greene Gamble House, Pasadena 1908 · More Info


Greene and Greene Gamble House, Pasadena 1908 · More Info


Greene and Greene Gamble House, Pasadena 1908 · More Info


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mountainrideror

It is unfathomable how anyone could look at this house and even think about painting anything! Glad it was preserved, love the Greene and Greene Gamble House!

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East Teak Fine Hardwoods, Inc.

Great Video Thanks for sharing!

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mikasmom01

I love wood and the house is lovely, very big, but still lovely. I do not like great big houses. They actually have a kind of creepy effect on me. I prefer small, cozy and secure.

Having lived in New England all of my life so far, I would hate to see what our blizzards, heavy rains, high heat and humidity, would do to all of that wood.

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darwin111

So pleased with myself, as I guessed the house from the title! YEA, ME!

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llilibel03zone10bsunset24

I've been there three times. Always worth the visit. I wish you could spend more time there because I think the walk through makes you miss some of the details and you get the feeling the mastery is in attention to details.

The surrounding neighborhood also has many beautiful examples of Craftsman architecture, including other Greene and Greene's.

Finally , if you're visiting the area, drive a few miles to the east and visit the "Bungalow Heaven" landmark district. You will find more humble homes but a true sense of neighborhood and a feel for the past. I love walking around there.

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Jerry Gropp Architect AIA

This is an interesting house although it demonstrates carrying a good idea- wood construction- a step too far. JGAIA

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Ann Orsolini

What an amazing home. It's really a work of art.


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JS Design + Build, Inc.

I can't tell you how important this residence is to my life. In the late 60's/early 70's when the home became available to tour, my mother took me there to see it. I walked in and stood in the foyer- stunned. Still in my early teens, it proved to be the inspiration for my professional life. I have been in the the design and construction business for 38 years and I still get excited by it and am blessed to love the profession that chose me. Thank, thank you for this revisit.

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sheribear

This house is stunning and I can see that it can be both formal and informal at the same time. This house, unlike the summer homes in Newport, is much more family oriented with less, but just enough, formality.

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Cindy Childers

While I admire the work and the talent that went into this beautiful home, I have never been a fan of so much wood. I love the design of the craftman homes, but just not the use of so much wood. Its dark and dreary to me. I would have to break up all of that wood with some walls that are plastered. Not a lot mind you, but it would be so much more beautiful if the wood was broken up a little. All in all it is a beautiful home.

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Shala Daniel

wonderful!

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blenoir

I know the Gamble House well, but the drone shots of the exterior are new to me! What a treat to see it from a bird's eye view! I hope everyone who has a chance will go to visit, and I second the comments about the special tours. Check the web site if you want an in-depth tour or a specialized tour about art glass or wood.

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Charlotte Mathis

I love the Gamble House. It is about 4 miles from my home. It's absolutely beautiful. It's a not to be missed tour if you're ever in Pasadena, CA.

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Jerry Gropp Architect AIA

When we see the builder houses being produced today, every thing looks better (and is). However my point was, things can be carried too far. JGAIA-

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rushme54 (Karen)

Wonderful article, wonderful home.

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qwert

I think there is a snafu when forwarding the link. I emailed the link to someone, who in turn forwarded the link to two others. Clicking on the first forwarded link got the correct video; clicking on the second time the link was forwarded sent them to a different video even thought the title still read "The Gamble House"....

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Diane Jackson
This is an amazing home. Incredible architecture and craftsmanship! If only homes today were built with such detail and character. The woods are gorgeous and appear seamless.
Adding this to my to do list along with Hearst castle next time I'm in Cali
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Caryn Sobel
I was smitten by the satiny, extruded appearance of the wood as part of my introduction to the Arts and Crafts movement twenty years ago. This article and video are an excellent intro to the design and craftsmanship. And yes, sustainability would never sanction this now, but we are fortunate to still have this design to enjoy and learn from.
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Jerry Gropp Architect AIA

A very good point. Not too many examples of this kind of fine building skill around. I really enjoy seeing this published so people can aspire to quality work. JGAIA-

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Charlotte Mathis

I own a 1912 California Craftsman Bungalow in Los Angeles, CA. I am fortunate to have found this house, and that no one painted over the natural wood in the living and dining rooms. Many of the original features of the house were "updated." I am slowly bringing it back to it's original state. It is truly a labor of love.

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Finstads Carpet One

What an incredibly solid house. They did not miss one detail----the woodworking and craftmanship is stunning, to say the least. I will have to put this on my bucket list.

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Jerry Gropp Architect AIA

Far too many of these classic old homes fall into the hands of unknowing rebuilders who destroy them. JGAIA

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Barbara Larson

Gorgeous paint it white indeed!!!! UGH

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Jerry Gropp Architect AIA

Several of our former houses have been ill-treated by their later owners. It pains us (somewhat) to drive by them. JGAIA

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tallaght
.. . xx jl
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Hart STUDIO LLC

An 8,000 square foot piece of furniture. Absolutely stunning, inspirational and even spiritual.

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Robert Kooijman

What a fantastic home!

   
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roxieks

I really love the rounded edges everywhere; it provides a feeling of completeness. The different kinds of wood throughout and the furniture is a living history lesson. It has been well cared for and I hope to visit someday soon. Thank you for sharing!

   
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Jerry Gropp Architect AIA

Today's latest owners of these "yesterday's special houses" all too often have no idea how much loving care it takes to be even a reasonably good caretaker of these now passed-on homes. So perhaps all too often they don't look as good as they once did. JGAIA

   
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Vladimir Koprivnjak
Beauty ....
   
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National Hardwood Flooring & Supplies

Stunning, absolutely gorgeous.

   
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S K-K

Superb architecture!


   
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Shahbanu Rugs

Very Rich! and the rugs!!

   
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Sonia Fortin
Completely speechless this house is a work of art. Thank you so much for sharing it.
   
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María Claudia Lennox
This house is an American beauty! Just stunning in every way....beautiful wood work.
   
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bungalowmo

This place is an absolutely beautiful time capsule into history!!

My little bungalow pales in comparison!

   
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LampsUSA

What a beautiful story about the house and how it came to be. The presentation is poetic and an inspiration on design, family and love.

   
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Mickey Plunkett

The reason the "Attic" is finished out in such a fine manner is that it was designed as the "Billiard Room" but since the gambles had no interest in billiards the room was designated as the attic on the final set of plans. I suspect the uncompromising nature of the architects prevented them from dumbing down the plans even though the Gambles didn't intend to make use of the room for anything but storage.

   
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Linda Morning
We just visited the home and the details in this home are exquisite. It is the definition of understated elegance.
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Nam Nguyễn
This is what I looking for a long time!