Friday, March 11, 2016

The Wright Tour, Pt. 3: The Gamble House

For me, good architecture can be thought provoking and even life changing; I can think of at least three times that my jaw dropped and I rethought my sense of design and style because of what I had seen. First was the tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Studio in Oak Park Illinois, followed by Taliesin West in Arizona. The most awe-inspiring sight was seeing the atrium of the West Baden Springs Hotel for the first time. On my recent Frank Lloyd Wright tour in Pasadena, a fourth time had to be added to the list when I was able to go through the Gamble House by Greene & Greene. If it looks familiar to you, then you have probably seen the movie "Back to the Future," where it served as the home of Doc Brown.

Built in 1908, The David B. Gamble House was designed by architects Charles Sumner Greene and his brother Henry Mather Greene. The Gamble family generously gifted the home to the city of Pasadena in 1966 in a joint agreement with the University of Southern California, aka USC.

The garage, which now serves as the museum store:

Listening to the tour guide as we stood on the front porch seemed like it lasted for an eternity.


Detailed view of the stained glass on the front door, as the outdoor light streams into the front entrance.

Loved this little sculpture that hung by the entryway staircase:

This staircase is a masterpiece. The soft rounded corners of the wood make it appear velvety soft.

The last interior shot I was able to take before a tour guide appeared out of the back and sternly announced that photos were not allowed.

The rest of today's post is an assortment of outdoor shots of the Gamble House as well as some views from the second floor overlooking the backyard.

The Gamble House is reason enough alone for me to hightail it back to Pasadena in the near future.

For great photos it's no gamble; just visit my main website.


Fifthrider said...

Glad you got to go and liked it. I seem to think they request no pictures so that they can sell more books in the gift shop which feature... Interior pictures. Good for you for getting a few anyways. Glad you enjoyed your visit there. Thankfully in our BTTF timeline, Doc didn't burn the house down and turn the garage into a lab.

Major Pepperidge said...

I never get why they would not allow photos in a place like this. As long as you don't use a flash, what's the harm? I guess Fifthrider's theory is as good as any.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Major, don't get the photo ban at all.

I've been to Oak Park FLW and Taliesen West, they allowed photos, including interiors, but we had to sign a statement acknowledging we would not post them in a commercial website or publication. We could do Facebook as I recall, but did not do so. I guess they're worried about me doing a calendar or coffee cups on CafePress.

I took some shots of Oak Park from across the street for my professional blog. I figured that anything visible from the public ROW was fair game and not subject to disclaimers. TW was so far from the road that no good shots were possible until you are among the buildings.

Dave, these are wonderful, thanks a lot. Planning the trip to Pasadena now.


Fifthrider said...

It's no theory. I'm serious. Go there. The garage is a jam-packed gift shop filled with books that feature interior pics of the Gamble house, and many others. It's about money.

John Hamm said...

1: It is House policy. If you care at all you should just respect that, say thank you for all of your dedicated hard work in preserving this American architectural treasure,and move on.

2: The attitude is that if photos were allowed every tour would turn into a 2 hour photo session. It is difficult as it is to get guests through the house in the one hour time frame.

3: It's not about money. The quantity of printed material containing photos sold each year does not, and never has, amount to much and does not turn a profit. The Gamble House is a non-profit, educational institution.
If you think there are big piles of cash being made here, you are sorely mistaken. This is not Falling Water.