Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Greene and Greene, Architects (firm); Hall, Peter, Building Contractor (firm); Charles Sumner Greene (architect); Henry Mather Greene (architect); John Hall (carpenter/carpenter); Peter Hall (building contractor); Leroy Hulbert (architectural photographer)

Dates: constructed 1908-1909

2 stories, total floor area: 8,100 sq. ft.

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4 Westmoreland Place
Pasadena, CA 91103-3593

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The Gamble House, in the 300 block of North Orange Grove Boulevard, three blocks north of Colorado Boulevard and near the intersection of the 134 and 210 freeways;


One of the most strikingly original dwellings created during the twentieth century, the Gamble House illustrated the wide latitude some architects in Southern California enjoyed to experiment with and synthesize diverse architectural sources, unimpeded by artistic or financial constraints. The Gamble House was the best known of the Greene Brothers’ “ultimate bungalows,” a Pasadena house type notable for its grand scale, meticulous craftsmanship and range of architectural influences.

Building History

The National Park Service (NPS) placed the Gamble House on the National Register of Historic Places, 09/03/1971, the first structure in Pasadena, CA, to be given this honor. One of the most celebrated residential landmarks in the United States, the Gamble House remains one of the most meticulously detailed and constructed houses ever built in wood in the U.S. Early consultations about the Gamble House occurred in 1907-1908; the Greenes completed drawings done by 02/1908. Construction began in early 03/1908 and was complete ten months later. The Gambles traveled for 6 months in the Far East while the house was being built. They moved into their new residence a month early. Along with the Gambles and two of their sons, Sidney and Clarence, Mary Gamble's sister, Julia Huggins, also lived in the house originally.

The Greenes worked with a range of skilled craftsmen on the Gamble commission. They employed the Swedish-born Hall Brothers, Peter (1867-1939) and John (1864-1940), who created the elaborate and original interior woodworking and furniture, much of it influenced by Asian and English and American Arts and Crafts precedents. The Greenes also worked periodically with the stained-glass artisans Emil Lange (1866–1934) and Harry Sturdy (1869–ca. 1915).

David Gamble died in 1923, and his wife passed away six years later. At this time, the house passed to the eldest son, Cecil Gamble, and his wife, Louise, who temporarily tried to sell the dwelling in 1945. Efforts to build a high-rise on the Gamble House site came to a head in 1965. To avoid this, a cousin of the Gamble heirs--James Gamble--spearheaded the family effort to preserve the mansion. In 1966, the Gamble Family made an agreement with the City of Pasadena, CA, and the University of Southern California (USC) to maintain the house, and its furnishings, in perpetuity.

Building Notes

The Gamble House had an entry hall generously proportioned at 38-feet long, and featured handcrafted woodwork and furnishings. The furnishings reflected precepts made famous in the Arts and Crafts Movement and the architects' study of Asian design. The Greene Brothers, Charles Sumner (1868-1957) and Henry Mather Greene (1870-1954), a pair of OH-born, MIT-trained architects, created a startlingly original fusion of stylistic elements that has elevated the residence to iconic status in US architectural history. It cost $55,000 in 1908, a very large sum of money at the time. David Berry Gamble (1847-1923), who retired in 1895, was an heir to the fortune generated by the Cincinnati, OH-based soap company, Procter and Gamble (founded in 1837) and could afford this expense. He and his wife, Mary Huggins Gamble (1855-1929), were part of a substantial migration of well-to-do transplants (many from the Midwest) to Pasadena, CA, beginning in the 1870s. The couple had three sons, Cecil Huggins Gamble (1884-1956), Sidney David Gamble (1890-1968), Clarence James Gamble (1894-1966), who would have resided here for varying lengths of time. The Gambles probably met the Greenes through John Cole, a neighbor and client. According to the Gamble House web site: "At the same time the Gambles were selecting their lot on Westmoreland Place, a house designed by the firm of Greene & Greene was being built for John Cole on the adjacent property. Perhaps meeting the architects at the construction site, and certainly impressed with the other Greene & Greene houses in the neighborhood, the Gambles met with the brothers and agreed on a commission." (See "History of the Gamble House," accessed 07/25/2011.)

In 1978, the US Department of the Interior made the Gamble House a National Historic Landmark, an honor reserved for only the nation's most significant buildings, structures or sites.

Tel: (626) 793-3334 (2003).

Pasadena Historical Landmark: ID n/a

California Historical Landmark: 871

National Register of Historic Places (Listed 1971): 71000155 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

National Historic Landmark (Listed 1977): ID n/a

PCAD id: 75