The Gamble House – Servants Kitchen
The Gamble House in Pasadena, California, is an outstanding example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture. The house and furnishings were designed by Charles and Henry Greene in 1908 for David and Mary Gamble of the Procter & Gamble Company. The house, which is a National Historic Landmark owned by the City of Pasadena and operated by the University of Southern California, is open for public tours.
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 essentially completed, the first pieces of custom furniture delivered, and the house became the home of David Gamble, his wife Mary, and two of their three sons: Sidney and Clarence. In addition, Mary’s sister, Julia Huggins, also lived with the family. By the summer of 1910, all of the custom-designed furniture was in place.
The Gamble House – Julia’s room
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 the University of Southern California School of Architecture.
The Gamble House – Beautiful Light Fixture
The tour was gorgeous, and offered this rare and well-preserved peek into the lives of the servants. Though they only kept two, a maid and a cook, the Gambles were keen to take care of their employees as much as they in turn were taken care of. One cook, Ljuba Sirlla was was from Croatia and was with the family at least a decade. Judging from the letters of Mary Gamble, Ljuba was well loved. Mr. Gamble even signed her naturalization papers.
Thursday, August 1 – Sunday, August 18, 2013
Tuesdays, 12:15 pm & 12:45 pm; Thursdays – Sundays, every half-hour from 11 am – 3 pm;
No tours on Mondays and Wednesdays.
$20 per person; free for children 12 and under
Advance purchase is not required but highly recommended as space is limited per tour and tours often sell out. It is suggested that tickets be purchased early to guarantee desired tour date and time. Tickets may be purchased either online or by phone with a Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Walk-ins also welcome when space is available.
Call 626-793-3334; or visit http://gamblehouse.org/tours/index.html; or email GambleHs@usc.edu