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Gamble House Launches Open-Air ‘Gardens & Gambles’ Tour

Published on Sep 17, 2020

Wide vignette of NW corner, after completion of the 2004 conservation project. Photo Courtesy of The Gamble House via official website.

The Gamble House in Pasadena is offering families and households of up to five members a chance to tour the historic home designed in 1908 by architects Greene & Greene, and commissioned by David and Mary Gamble of Cincinnati as a winter residence.

Called “Gardens and Gables: Exploring the Gamble House Outdoors,” this special one-hour tour of the house’s grounds and exterior is designed to introduce visitors to the house while reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

A Gamble House guide will lead visitors on an exploration of the house’s context and history throughout the gardens and terraces. As the tour proceeds, the guide will discuss how the Gamble House exemplifies the work of Greene & Greene, how the Greenes worked with the Gamble family to create a masterwork of functional and beautiful design, and about the development of the gardens, landscape, terraces, and porches as a setting for early 20th-century outdoor living.

The guide will also point out the materials, features, and joinery that make the house unique.

Each tour is limited to a group of five from a single household, according to a Gamble House announcement. During the tour, visitors will be required to follow safe practices and the mandates issued through state and local authorities: face coverings must be worn at all times while on the Gamble House premises, and people must maintain a safe distance from guides and the rest of their group.

If people are experiencing any symptoms of illness on the day of the tour, be advised to stay at home and call (626) 449-4178 to cancel. At that time, it’s possible to choose to donate the cost of tickets to the Gamble House or request a refund.

Before the day of the tour, visit the Gamble House Bookstore online to shop from their collection of garden-related merchandise and publications. To shop now, visit The store is only open to online orders and curbside pick-up at the moment.

These exterior tours will proceed rain or shine, according to the notice. On the day of the tour, group members will meet at the front of the Gamble House Bookstore 10 minutes prior to tour time to check-in.

The tour covers uneven terrain, so comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

The Gamble House, at 4 Westmoreland Place in Pasadena, is one of the “ultimate bungalows designed by brothers Charles Sumner Greene (1868-1957) and Henry Mather Greene (1870-1954), who were born in Brighton, Ohio, now part of Cincinnati, and grew up on their mother’s family farm in West Virginia while their father, Thomas, attended medical school in St. Louis, Missouri.

The brothers developed a love of nature during those West Virginia years that would be ever-reflected in their art.

Soon after their arrival in Pasadena, the brothers set up shop together, and the architecture firm of Greene & Greene was born.

To sign up for Gardens and Gables, visit

Aside from the one-hour exterior tour, the Gamble House also has scheduled a number of online events in the next few weeks.

On Saturday, Sept. 26, Ted Bosley, executive director and CEO of The Gamble House Conservancy and author of “Greene and Greene,” the premiere study of the architects’ work, will present a lecture on Zoom titled “Two Sides of the Pacific: Japan and the Architecture of Greene & Greene,” starting at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for members and $20 for non-members.

In another lecture event on Zoom, Dr. Miriam Reed will discuss how the Gamble family embarked on a voyage to Asia in March 1908, just as their new winter home in Pasadena was under construction. The lecture is called “The Gambles in Asia,” and will be at 2 p.m Saturday, Oct. 10.

Authors Dominic Bradbury and Richard Powers, will discuss their new publication, “The Iconic American House: Architectural Masterworks Since 1900,” in a virtual author event at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17. The book is a compendium of the most innovative and influential residential buildings in the United States since the beginning of the 20th century.

For tickets and other information, visit

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