Gamble House in Pasadena celebrates 50 years as museum

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Pasadena's famed Gamble House celebrated a milestone as the perfectly-preserved craftsman home marked 50 years as a museum open to the public. (KABC)

Pasadena's famed Gamble House celebrated a milestone as the perfectly-preserved craftsman home marked 50 years as a museum open to the public.

The Gamble House sits on a rise above Pasadena's Westmoreland Place, looking exactly as it did in the early 1900s

When it was built by the Cincinnati Gambles, of Procter and Gamble, as their winter residence.

The house and furnishings were designed by brothers Charles and Henry Greene, who elevated the style of American arts and crafts to a new level.

Gamble House is a perfectly preserved example of what Charles Greene called an architecture as a fine art.

The Greenes not only designed the house, but its contents, like the staircase with its curved lines, which looks the same as new.

"The Gamble House is the premiere example in America of arts and crafts period architecture, that early 20th Century period that's so different from the Victorian era," said Edward Bosley, the Gamble House director.

In 1966, the Gambles gave their home to the city of Pasadena and the University of Southern California.

It was not made a national historic landmark until 1978, which means it could easily have been sold and demolished.

"All of Westmoreland Place was seen as right for development, so it's really seen as remarkable - almost a miracle - that this house was saved," Bosley said.

This marks the 50th anniversary the Gamble House has been open to the public, which is a legacy closely guarded by the Gamble family. For example, Dyke Messler, who remembers Sundays spent at his grandmother's home, and who visits several times a year as a Gamble House adviser.

"One of the fun things about coming back to this house for 66 years is to fixate on the detail that you've never noticed and just marvel at the ingenuity of the two gentlemen that created it," Messler said.

In eight years, the house will be open to the public as long as it was a family home, but thanks to a family's generosity, Gamble House will last far longer.

Related Topics:
societymuseumshistoryPasadenaLos Angeles County
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