The Gamble House was designed in
1908 by architects Greene & Greene. It was commissioned
by David and Mary Gamble, of Cincinnati, Ohio, as
a retirement residence.
David Berry Gamble, a second generation member of
the Procter & Gamble Company in Cincinnati, had
retired from active work in 1895, and with his wife,
Mary Huggins Gamble, began to spend winters in Pasadena,
residing in the areas resort hotels. By 1907,
the couple had decided to build a permanent home
in Pasadena. In June of that year, they bought a
lot on the short, private street, Westmoreland Place,
passing up the more fashionable address, South Orange
Grove, known at that time as Millionaires Row.
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.
The architects worked closely with the Gambles in
the design of the house, incorporating specific design
elements to complement art pieces belonging to the
family. Drawings for the house were completed in
February 1908, and ground was broken in March. Ten
months later, the house was completed, the first
pieces of custom furniture were delivered, and The
Gamble House became home to David Gamble, his wife
Mary, and two of their three sons: Sidney and Clarence.
(Their son Cecil was 24 at the time, and on his own.)
In addition, Marys sister, Julia Huggins, came
from Ohio to live with the family. By the summer
of 1910, all the custom-designed furniture was in
David and Mary lived in the house until their deaths
in 1923 and 1929, respectively. Julia lived in the
house until her death in 1943. Cecil Huggins Gamble
and his wife Louise Gibbs Gamble lived in the house
beginning in 1946 and briefly considered selling
it. They soon changed their minds, however, when
prospective buyers spoke of painting the interior
teak and mahogany woodwork white! The Gambles realized
the artistic importance of the house and it remained
in the Gamble family until 1966, when it was deeded
to the city of Pasadena in a joint agreement with
of Southern California School of Architecture.
See the important
dates in the history of the Gamble House — from the
founding of the architectural firm Greene & Greene
in 1894 to the restoration of the House in 2004.
Gamble House project in the Greene
& Greene Virtual Archives.