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Male, US, born 1868-10-12, died 1957-06-11

Associated with the firms network

Greene and Greene, Architects; Rosenheim, Alfred Faist, FAIA, Architect

Professional History


Draftsman, Alfred Faist Rosenheim, Architect, Saint Louis, MO, 1886-1887;

Draftsman, H. Langford Warren, Architect, Cambridge, MA, 1890-1893;

Partner, Greene and Greene, Architects, Pasadena, CA. 1893-1922. In 1904, Thurston's Resident and Business Directory of Greater Pasadena, 1904, (p. 142), indicated that the Greene and Greene office was located in Los Angeles.

Principal, Charles S. Greene, Architect, Carmel, CA, 1922-1929. The work of the Greene Brothers fell into disfavor by the early teens and was forgotten by revivalist architects of the 1920s. In the late 1940s, a group of architects, writers and photographers, located mostly in Southern CA, began to rediscover their Pasadena bungalows. This cadre of admirers included architects Myron Hunt (1868-1952), Henry Eggers (1911-1987) and Harwell H. Harris (1903-1990), whose Clarence Wyle House (1946-1948) and Ralph Johnson House (Los Angeles, CA, 1947-1948) reflected his recent study of the Gamble, Blacker and Culbertson Houses, Harris's wife, the writer Jean Murray Bangs (d. 1986), the photographers Cole Weston (1919-2003) and Maynard Parker (1901-1976), and magazine editor Elizabeth Gordon. Bangs wrote articles for Gordon's magazine, House Beautiful, that resurrected the Greenes work in its 05/1950 issue. Architect Parker provided the photographs. Earlier, he had shot certain Greene and Greene residences with their original clients, documenting each as a gesamtkunstwerk.

Special Award, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Southern CA Chapter, 1948; Special Citation, American Institute of Architects (AIA), 1952.

Greene & Greene Architectural Records and Papers Collection, ca. 1896-ca. 1963, Columbia University, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, New York, NY, See (Accessed 06/19/2008); papers comprising the "Charles Sumner Greene Collection, 1862-1956," Collection Number: 1959-1, were also deposited at the University of California, Berkeley, Environmental Design Archives, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley, CA. This collection included 21 boxes, 1 card file box, 1 flat box, and 3 flat file drawers.


High School/College

Diploma, Manual Arts Training High School, Saint Louis, MO, 1888; this high school training emphasizing "learning by doing" strongly influenced Charles and Henry Greene. It sensitized them to the importance of craft, understanding of the use of tools, and the importance of studying the fundamental qualities of materials.

Certificates of Partial Course, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, 1890.



Charles Sumner Greene was born in Cincinnati, OH, where his parents lived in the working-class neighborhood of Brighton on the city's southern periphery. Charles and his brother spent their early years here and on their maternal grandparents' farm in Barboursville, WV. On the farm, they could spend long hours outdoors and observe nature, to an extent not possible in Cincinnati. In 1874, Thomas Greene moved the family to Saint Louis MO, where he took a new job as a bookkeeper and cashier for Edward Martin and Company, a clothing manufacturer. Here, both Charles and Henry attended Eads Elementary School. Five years later, Thomas moved his family back to Cincinnati, where he undertook homeopathic medical training at Pulte Medical College, graduating in 1882.

When Charles was 15, Thomas Greene sent him back to Saint Louis to attend a new school, the Manual Training School of Washington University, begun by Calvin Milton Woodward (1837-1914) in 1879. (Henry Greene joined his brother a year later.) Woodward believed that the era's usual classical curricula did not prepare students to live in a rapidly industrializing country, and he aimed to give high school age children direct exposure to industrial tools and processes in addition to classical coursework. He hoped to shape "The Cultured Mind, [and] The Skillful Hand." In their first year, students took standard math, English, Latin and history courses, as well as two hours a day of woodworking. The next year, they focused on metalworking in the forge shop, and in their final third year, the machine shop. Reflecting contemporary rhetoric made famous by Englishman William Morris, Woodward hoped to instill in his students a deep knowledge and respect for industrial labor. Charles himself indicated that he felt that his Manual Training School experience had solidified tendencies for "thoroughness and logical analysis." (See Theodore Bosley, Greene & Greene, [London: Phaidon Press, 2000.], p. 8-13.) After Manual Arts experience, Charles worked for the young Saint Louis architect Alfred Faist Rosenheim (1859-1943), who, like the Greenes, would move to Southern CA, and become one of the city's most respected architects.

Charles Sumner Greene resided at 368 Arroyo Terrace in Pasadena, in 1904-1907. (See Thurston's Resident and Business Directory of Greater Pasadena, 1904, p. 142, 1907, p. 201.)


His father, Thomas Sumner Greene (born 09/1842 in Brighton, OH) was a physician; his father came from RI, his mother, MA; Henry Mather Greene's mother's maiden name was Lelia Ariana Mather (born 11/1844 in VA); her parents came from VA; in 1900, Thomas S., Lelia and Charles Sumner Greene all lived in Pasadena, CA, (in Precinct 1) at 848 Colorado Street, next door to Henry Mather Greene and his wife, Emeline, at 834. In 1920, Thomas and Lelia lived at 774 Earlham Street, Pasadena, CA; According to the 1930 Census, Thomas S. and Lelia Greene lived on Monte Verde Street in Carmel, CA, and had been married 62 years. Charles Sumner Greene was 15 months and 11 days older than his brother, Henry Mather (born 01/23/1870).


Charles Sumner Greene married Alice Gordon White (born 08/26/1870 in England-d. 11/04/1965) in 02/1901. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1892. Alice G. Greene died in King City, Monterey County, CA, at the age of 95. Following their wedding, the couple honeymooned in the British Isles and other sites on the continent. The sojourn in England and Scotland provided Charles the opportunity to visit Arts and Crafts buildings and meet progressive architects. This trip enhanced his appreciation for the tenets of the Arts and Crafts Movement and enriched his powers of stylistic synthesis. Charles saw the importance of making even the most mundane utensils beautiful, as interaction with well-designed objects could improve daily life.


Charles and Alice had four children: Nathaniel P. (born c. 1901 in CA), Bettie S. (born c. 1904 in CA), Alice S. (born c. 1905 in CA) and Thomas G. (born c. 1897 in CA).

Biographical Notes

Following this yearlong internship with Rosenheim, Thomas Greene sent Charles to Cambridge, MA, to attend the leading technical school in the US, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He left MIT early in 1890, unhappy with its stress on Beaux-Arts Classicism, but remained in the city to work in the Cambridge office of English-born architect Herbert Langford Warren (1857–1917), who had worked for the great H.H. Richardson between 1879-1885 and was active in the Arts and Crafts Movement in the Boston region. Charles stayed about three years, before visiting his parents who had relocated to Pasadena, CA, then a growing and cultivated city in Southern CA. Both Charles and Henry saw the potential Pasadena could have for architects; here, a range of affluent people had migrated for their health and to be away from frigid winter weather. (Thomas and Lelia Greene had moved here in part because of financial problems in 1892, but also because both had health concerns, his malarial, hers asthma.) In Pasadena by the 1890s, wealthy Midwesterners and Easterners had begun to create a culture sensitive to art and high culture. The Greene brothers relocated to the city in 1893. Their impressions of Pasadena rewarded them particularly during the 1900-1910 period. During this decade, they collected a group of highly motivated, educated and well-to-do clients, who allowed them to experiment with the bungalow form. They began to evolve a new type of residence, "the ultimate bungalow," epitomized by the Gamble House (1909). Reflecting their prosperity, Charles and his wife lived in the artistic 2nd Ward of Pasadena in 1910; in that year, his household included a governess, a woman names Baylis (born c. 1886 in England), and a servant, Margaret Hiram, (born c. 1877 in Ireland). Their high standards of design ultimately proved their undoing. Clients began to talk about their cost-overruns and tardiness, and new work, after 1912, began to dissipate. As a result, Charles and his family moved to Carmel, CA, in 1916, and the termination of the brothers' partnership occurred officially six years later. He continued to work on his own, with his last project obtained in 1929. Charles Sumner Greene died in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Monterey County, CA, at the age of 89. A passport application for Charles Greene and his wife, Alice Gordon White, indicated that his birthday was 10/12/1868. (The California Death Index indicated his date of birth to have been 10/12/1867.) Greene was traveling in England for six months beginning 03/10/1907. On 04/16/1907, the Greenes were staying at 36 Bedford Place, London.

Associated Locations

  • Brighton, Cincinnati, OH (Architect's Birth)
    Brighton, Cincinnati, OH

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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA (Architect's Death)
    Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

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PCAD id: 57

Anthony, Earle C., Packard Automobile Showroom, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
Anthony, Earle Charles, House #1, Beverly Hills, CABeverly HillsCA
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Bentz, Louise, House, Pasadena, CA1906PasadenaCA
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Culbertson, Cordelia A., House, Oak Knoll, Pasadena, CA1911-1913PasadenaCA
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Greene, Charles Sumner, House, Carmel, CA1918CarmelCA
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Huston, Joseph K., House, Pasadena, CA1911PasadenaCA
Irwin, Theodore, Jr., House, Pasadena, CA1906-1907PasadenaCA
James House, Carmel Highlands, CA1918Carmel HighlandsCA
Kew, Michael, House, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 1912San DiegoCA
Kinney-Kendall Commercial Building, Pasadena, CA1896PasadenaCA
Oaklawn Avenue Waiting Station, South Pasadena, CASouth PasadenaCA
Pitcairn, Robert, Jr., House, Pasadena, CA1906-1907PasadenaCA
Pratt, Charles M., House, Ojai, CAOjaiCA
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