Recent Posts

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Gamble House Exterior/Arts & Crafts

The Gamble House was built in 1908 by brothers Charles S. Green and Henry M. Greene. It has been recognized as a true showcase representing the best of the Arts and Crafts movement in America.

The founder of the Arts and Crafts movement was William Morris. Morris, born in England in 1834, created the Arts & Crafts movement in response to his dissatisfaction with mass produced goods so prevalent in the Victorian Era. A true Renaissance man, he was a painter, poet, architect, as well as a furniture and textile designer.

William Morris by George Frederic Watts, 1870

Many of Morris' theories about how one should live were brought to fruition when he created The Red House, built by Philip Webb in 1859. The home showcased paintings, wall-hangings, furniture and stained glass all of which would come to be associated as the Arts and Crafts style. Everything was created by hand. His work, and those associated with Morris, was showcased in 1862 at the International Exhibition. Within a few years, the style flourished.

Henry Mather Greene went on his honeymoon to England, Scotland and Europe in 1899 and was greatly influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement. Fully embracing the style, he returned to Pasadena and Greene and Greene began to offer integrated design services for their clients. Meaning, they provided design and construction of the house and all of its interior appointments which included furniture and artwork.
While they designed many homes, the Gamble House remains their chief masterpiece.

The home is located at 4 Westmoreland Place, a private road which runs parallel with Orange Grove Blvd. There are gates placed on either end of the road.

The house is an infusion of styles which include the Swiss Chalet as well as having a traditional Japanese influence.

It has wide terraces and open sleeping porches. Broad overhanging eaves and cross ventilation keep the house quite cool.

Here is a close up of the wooden split shakes that cover the exterior of the house as well as one of the many identical cement pots created specifically for the outdoor plantings.

The front door is a symphony of wood and stained glass.

No mere tiles or brass numbers provide the address for this grand home. An exterior lantern features a wonderful number "4".

The backyard features a vast green lawn and a lovely pond filled with koi.

Lanterns dot the landscape throughout the property.

To the right of the home is a man's dream. A separate garage that features a massive built in work bench, bathroom and rear offices.

For those who love movie trivia, the garage scenes in "Back to the Future" were filmed here.

The Arts & Crafts bungalow style became popular throughout America when Sears and Roebuck as well as Radford offered Craftsman bungalow plans through the mail.

Bungalows themselves came in several styles: California, Craftman, Tudor, Mission, Prairie, Foursquare and many others. A great website for further research is American Bungalow.

Hallmarks of the style include:
~ A low-pitched, gabled roof
~Wide overhanging eaves
~Exposed rafters
~Tapered or square columns supporting roof or porch
~Hand-crafted stone or woodwork (materials were often mixed throughout structure)

Wednesday's post will look at how the Arts and Crafts movement influenced the interiors and furnishings of homes.


Cheryl said...

That was so educational- Thank you for the terrific post! I learned that years ago in design scholl and had not thought about it in years- thank you so much, it is quite enjoyable!

heather said...

Those are so beautiful! Thanks for being such a great virtual tour guide. :)

Liz said...

I love your posts on different styles! I think they are fascinating. American trends are such a huge part of our history. Thanks for sharing your expertise!


Tracy said...

Nice post, Laura! I've always had dreams of living in an old craftsman bungalow. We live about 30 min east of Pasadena up against the same foothills and have lots of beautiful bungalows all around us. But here I am, in my 70's stucco box, doing my best to give it some cottagey charm and character. After 15 yrs, it's pretty cute so I think we'll stay -- and admire the bungalows on long walks and home tours. Glad you had such a good time in So Cal!

Lorrie said...

What a great post - interesting and informative! My husband would love that garage/workshop. Beautiful homes.

And thank you again for the wonderful giveaway - I'm thrilled to have won.


Shimmy Mom said...

That place is amazing. What talented, creative people. I can't even make my family room look decent.
Love this post. Keep em' comin'

Monica S said...

Looved that first house! Beautiful, and practical in the sun! And had a timberstyle look to it too (that I really like)


Miss Sandy said...

I always learn so much visiting here. I love all the exquisite work in this style. Wouldn't have loved to live during this time and sit in on a brainstorm session? I know I would! Great post, very informative.

Mimi Sue said...

We have several bungalows in our neighborhood. Very solid architecture. Mimi

Her Shabbiness said...

I loved this post. So many beautiful pictures and loads of information.

Bungalows are fabulous.

ajmona said...

amazing! i love especially the simplicity that is in fact a detailed in a special way,and it is perceived kind of smoothly,