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Running head: THE GAMBLE HOUSE

The Gamble House


Briane A. Shane
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

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The purpose of this research paper is to examine, in detail, the Gamble House and to
understand the influence it has on architectural history. In order to achieve both goals of this
paper one must look at the style of the Gamble House, the architects of the home, the Gamble
House itself, and the time period in which the Gamble House was built. The Gamble house was
designed by Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene for David B. Gamble in
Pasadena, California and was completed between 1907 and 1909 (Anscombe, 1991 & Jeffery,
2001). Based off the time period alone there was an abundance of design, furniture making, and
of course the results of the industrial revolution were fresh. However, not everyone enjoyed the
fast paced, poorly created furniture and pieces of the machine age. This is why all of the
furniture, items, carpets, and details in the Gamble House were hand crafted and designed by the
Greene brothers; this is because the Gamble House is a part of the Arts and Crafts movement,
also known as the Craftsman style in America (Anscombe, 1991, Jeffery, 2001, Blakesley, 2006,
Makinson, 1979, Ireland, 2009, & Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004). In order to understand why this
fact is so important, one must understand the impact of the industrial revolution on both Europe,
specifically Britain, and America. Also one must understand the influences of the Greene
brothers, not only from the Arts and Crafts, or Craftsman, style.
In order to so this research will briefly speak about the industrial revolution first as a
refresher to remind ourselves of the world these clients and designers lived in. The next topic
will be the Arts and Crafts style, where it started, why it started, who were the most influential
designers, and discuss the subtle differences between Arts and Crafts style and Craftsman style.
Next the designers, Greene and Greene, will be discussed. This is needed to understand the
depth they involved themselves in each project they worked on throughout their careers. Finally
the Gamble House itself will be discussed. This is saved as the final discussion point because the

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previous three sections will be needed to understand the time period, some of the vocabulary,
and the importance of the home to American architecture.
The Industrial Revolution
The age of the machine would be an excellent way to describe the nineteenth century.
The swell in the middle class caused for a higher demand in goods and items collected seemed to
mean success in society. More is better became the sentiment of the time. Due to the
increased demand in goods and the birth of numerous machines, products were manufactured
more quickly and inexpensively. The products thus quickly found their way into homes, mainly
living rooms, which were extremely cluttered. Homes were extremely cluttered at the time
because many of the middle class, who were the main consumers, thought little of artistic merit
or usefulness of the objects they purchased. The one thing that seemed to push consumers to buy
items was if their neighbor had one. The nineteenth century was a century of keeping up with
the Jones. As factories were built, cities grew and people moved from the rural surroundings.
This resulted in a lost connection with nature, and a great connection began with poor sanitation,
competition between children and adults for jobs, and little chance for education. The industrial
revolution caused few to become wealthy, and many to become middle class (Ireland, 2009).
Due to the increased productivity and the new inventions of the various machines, the
quality of products and life diminished. These two qualities were affected so harshly that the
English Parliament established a commission to examine the issue of declining quality in 1835.
The English Parliament did this because exports were on the line, poor quality goods would not
export for very long. Years later in 1851 the Crystal Palace in London hosted the Great
Exhibition of Industry of All Nations. This was partly a trade convention to encourage other
countries to export goods from England; however the result was rather negative. Due to the

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quality of the products from Eastern countries over those from industrialized nations, the tactic
backfired on the British hopes (Ireland, 2009).
However good came from the Great Exhibition of Industry of All Nations. Due to the
quality of products seeming poor, England and France established organizations in an effort to
resolve the poor quality problem that plagued the industrialized nations. Museums in England,
such as the Victoria and Albert museums, reorganized national schools of art. Also in England a
commission was established in the hopes of improving the arts and sciences education. Most of
these improvements were made outside of the government. In France the beginning of the Union
Centrale des Arts Dcoratifs was organized. At the time of its creation, members had to work
with the French government sponsored schools. Antipathy grew among some for the industrial
environment. Moralists whose antipathy grew felt that machines caused social ills. These
moralists were the ones who said in order to solve these social ills, we must return to the handmade products. From these moralists the Arts and Crafts Style was born in England around 1860
(Ireland, 2009).
The Arts and Crafts Style
The following section will discuss the Arts and Crafts style extensively. First there with
a brief overview of the style itself, this will give the design philosophy and the ideas behind the
Arts and Crafts movement. Next the influential designers will be discussed; these will be from
both Europe and America. There will be a brief discussion on some of their accomplishments
within the Arts and Crafts movement. Finally this section will conclude with a discussion of the
American Arts and Crafts Style, better known as Craftsman Style.
About Arts and Crafts Style

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The Arts and Crafts Style was a reform style in Britain during the Victorian era. The Arts
and Crafts style was not only a style, but also a movement, which revolted against tasteless, ugly,
mass-produced furniture that was a result of the industrial revolution. Due to revolt of the massproduced products, the designers of the Arts and Crafts Style returned to fine craftsmanship and
hand fabrication (Dizik, 1988). It was not only the fact that the furniture was mass-produced, the
thinkers and designers of the Arts and Crafts Style believed the pieces were ugly and filled with
ornate clutter. The Arts and Crafts Style followers decided that not only was furniture supposed
to be beautiful, of excellent quality, but also to respect the materials used (Blakesley, 2006).
The Arts and Crafts movement could be considered to care about the Gesamtkunstwerk,
or a total work of art. Many designers of the Arts and Crafts Movement thought of a design as a
whole, including the actual designing from foundation to the details on the furniture, rugs, and
art-glass (Blakesley, 2006 & Makinson, 1979). Even everyday household items were included in
this total work of art, and as a result fresh designs for superbly crafted pieces were made
(Makinson, 1979).
There were two objectives of the Arts and Crafts designers. The first was to make pieces
that were aesthically pleasing, yet functional and the second was to enrich the lives of the
consumer as well as the artists through their designs and creations. Furniture, textiles, metal
objects, glass, pottery, wallpaper, and some interiors and architecture were the result of the Arts
and Crafts Movement. The Arts and Crafts Movement went so far as to reject the use of faux
finishes; wood should look like wood (Ireland, 2009). The quick demand for products from the
Arts and Crafts Movement caused manufacturing firms and department stores employed a few
architects of the movement. A steady stream of commissions met the architects and designers of
the Arts and Crafts Movement because of the buoyant economy of the time (Todd, 2004).

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The interiors of the Arts and Crafts Movement seemed approachable, whether they were
grand or humble homes. Light flooded rooms that were created and furnished in a practical way
with comfortable furniture. Fireplaces served as the focal point in many of the rooms, especially
because of its centralized location normally. Also certain motifs were normally used at the
fireplace, such as the heart in multiple places. Also the inglenook was revived and normally
enclosed an area near the fireplace and was indicated by either a raised floor or a lowered ceiling
providing a feeling of intimacy (Ireland, 2009).
The use of natural materials was important to the Arts and Crafts Style. Designers often
used rough-cut stones, textiles made of natural fibers, and hand-hewn wood. It was typical to see
floors and fireplaces made of stone, stylized or geometric oriental rugs to add color and some
times wallpaper on the walls. Due to the use of natural materials that were handcrafted from the
start, the materials were expensive and so too was the labor for projects. The movement
encouraged local materials be used, but also rejected materials, such as concrete and steel.
Architectural honesty was the way of the Arts and Crafts Movement (Ireland, 2009).
The honesty did not only include the materials and the craftsmanship, but also the
components and any joinery. Any type of design was picked carefully; motifs should suit the
client, the environment, and the material that the motif is on. Motifs were normally derived from
folk traditions. Typical motifs were tulips, roses, leaves, birds, hearts, and geometric shapes.
However the motifs were treated with a sense of sophistication, though many had humble
origins. Often turned pieces, inserts and paintings were used for decoration. Due to the
excellent craftsmanship of the furniture pieces, the use of screws and nails was not needed
(Ireland, 2009).

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The colors often used in the Arts and Crafts Style also did not vary much. Muted colors
were often employed, with a vivid color in a large block. The designers strategically placed
touches of color in details like rugs or designs in wallpapers, while neutral colors were employed
elsewhere. This strategy helped to emphasize the materials and textures, such as the bricks,
leathers, and woods, in must interiors (Ireland, 2009). However, some colors were off limits, so
to speak. Pastel colors, some patterned wallpapers, and other imitation materials were rarely
seen in Arts and Crafts Style (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Ceilings often times had exposed beams, emphasizing the horizontal line and the honesty
of the building. Designers even placed moldings or plate rails to lower the ceiling, causing an
intimacy and a frieze on the walls. The walls were broken into three sections normally; the
frieze was treated differently than the rest of the wall. On the exterior of homes, rafters were
normally exposed beneath the large overhangs. Designers didnt just leave the rafters plain
either some were decorative. Porches were also a popular element on the exterior; projected and
roof porches were common (Ireland, 2009).
There was one other material that was often used, but was fairly new. In Britain the
window tax was eliminated in 1851 and the duty of glassmaker was lifted in the art society in
1857. This encouraged the use of large panes of glass and the revival of bay and bow windows
in homes. However, in the Arts and Crafts Movement this meant an increased use of stained and
art glass. Jeweled windows, doors, and cupboard doors were common; one of the best examples
of this is the Tree of Life triptych entrance door of The Gamble House (Todd, 2004). There
were important churches and public buildings during the Arts and Crafts Movement; however
homes were the largest commissions of the time. This is because the Arts and Crafts Movement

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was about enhancing the quality of life while making places comfortable and functional, which
this was mainly damaged in the homes of the middle class (Blakesley, 2006).
Influential Designers
There were many influential designers and leaders of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Among these there were William Morris (1834-1896), John Ruskin (1819-1900) and A.W.N.
Pugin (1812-1852). These men, all from Britain, helped start the Arts and Crafts Movement, and
were all motivated by morality. They focused on the Medieval period because that was a time,
they perceived, when Christian values were high and artists were honest when it came to their
work. Morris, Ruskin, and Pugin focused mainly on the Gothic architecture (Ireland, 2009).
William Morris stated that machines too over production and pulled the joy out of
creativity. The joy of creativity should have never been lost. So Morris looked to the Medieval
period, a time that he believed artists not only worked on a project from start to finish, but were
also proud of their accomplishments. Morris believed the durability of furniture depended solely
on the joinery, and that having an assembly line of workers only harms the durability of
furniture. Morris urged for simplicity with beauty. He even divided furniture into two
categories: the necessary, simple items, such as chairs, and state items, like cabinets. The
necessary, simple items were to be everyday items that had some designs and were beautiful, but
also functional and durable. The state furniture was supposed to be statement pieces of a home
(Ireland, 2009).
Ruskin wrote The Seven Lamps of Architecture, and agreed with Morris that machines
destroyed creativity, but added that the dignity of workers was also diminished as a result.
Ruskin focused on the Medieval period, knowing the life was hard, but that work had been done
voluntarily and joyfully. According to him the conditions of the Medieval period seemed more

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appealing than the drudgery of factory life. The exploitation of laborers for profit was
deplorable, however Ruskin stated machines could be used for good. Improved precision and the
creation of a better product could come from the use of machines; just not in the way most
factories used the machines and the workers (Ireland, 2009).
Pugin, possibly the starter of the Arts and Crafts Movement, looked to the Medieval
buildings to gain inspiration for the design of new Houses of Parliament. Pugin believed that the
environment he or she was subjected to regularly shaped an individuals character. He also
believed that the architecture and applied arts of a nation expressed the characteristics of that
nation (Ireland, 2009).
There were other men involved in the Arts and Crafts Movement, such as Philip Webb
(1831-1915) from Britain. He would design furniture to supplement income often, unlike many
of his counterparts who designed the interior and the furnishings. Philip Webb was best known
for his work on The Red House. Truth in materials and functionality were both very important to
the interior and flowers, vines and other forms were stylized. The house was meant to be free
flowing and functional. One room would flow into the next, yet each room had its own character
and related to the whole. This greatly affected the architecture in Britain and America. There
was also Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), from Scotland. He worked in both the Arts
and Crafts Style and the later Art Nouveau Style. Mackintosh used wall stencils and handembroidered textiles often (Ireland, 2009).
In America there were a number of designers who grew out of the mainly British
movement. One was Andrew Jackson Downing (1815-1851), who looked to the Medieval art
and advocated the Gothic Style be employed for homes. He designed more elaborate homes for
the wealthy and modest, sturdy homes for other clients, modeled after the Tudor or Gothic

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examples Downing looked to. Downing also opposed industrialized cities and instead believed
rural life was better. There was also Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), who was a writer and
philosopher in America. He started publishing magazines in 1895 concerning the differences
between handmade and machine made products. He greatly influenced the American public
through his writings and influenced some of the designers of the time period. There was of
course Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), who grew from the Arts and Crafts Movement (Ireland,
2009).
The Craftsman, a magazine by Gustav Stickley, was first published in October of 1901.
It inspired a pair of young brothers, the Greenes. Stickely wrote of the new Craftsman
philosophy, or Arts and Crafts philosophy, and produced furniture that was carried out in such a
way that was similar to what the Greene brothers had learned at the first Manual Training High
School in Saint Louis (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004). Academies such as the Manual Training
High School in Saint Louis, which was run by Calvin Milton Woodward, sprang up and taught
Arts and Crafts designers such as Charles and Henry Greene. Many of these schools sprang up
in the Midwest, including one run by Louis Sullivan. The architects that grew from these
schools were highly influential and included Sullivan, Wright, the Greene brothers and Henry
Hobson Richardson (Todd, 2004).
Custom lighting was a large part of the designs for both Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles
and Henry Greene. In each design the lighting was different, not only in patterns, but also in
shape possibly (Todd, 2004). The Greenes were not the only influential designers located in
California during the Arts and Crafts Movement; there was also Gill and Maybeck. These
designers used the Californian landscape and climate to develop their designs, mainly the
sunshine and scenery. These designers were also influenced by the Spanish and Native

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American past of the Californian landscape. Diversity was the way of the American Arts and
Crafts Movement. However, the Greenes designs stood out among their peers because the nestlike structures they created (Blakesley, 2006). The Greene brothers were thoroughly and
naturally devoted to the Arts and Crafts Movement. Their quality of craftsmanship and
composition was unsurpassed in California (Makinson, 1979).
American Arts and Crafts/Craftsman Style
The American Arts and Crafts exhibition was first held in Boston, in 1897. This is when
the movement was able to grab the attention of the American public. However, the American
Arts and Crafts Style was often called the Craftsman Style, named after the popular magazine
The Craftsman that was published between 1901 and 1916. Due to the magazine the style caught
on quickly in the middle-class American homes. The American Arts and Crafts Movement
sought to improve the lives of the American home by simplifying it, while encouraging the use
of natural materials and craftsmanship (Ireland, 2009). American designers differed from their
British counterparts however.
Americans were less concerned to find an alternative to capitalism, nor were they looking
to the Medieval influences. American designers instead looked to the local landscape for
inspiration and the native architecture that ranged from Spanish Mission to pre-Columbian
styles. Thus the American Arts and Crafts Movement was one of attitudes, rather than style
(Blakesley, 2006). The look to the rural areas was more prominent in America because the craft
traditions were still ongoing, unlike in Britain (Hinchman, 2009).
The American Arts and Crafts Movement was also related to a literary movement that
was taking place. The works of David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Walt Whitman were
all very popular and emphasized the virtues of living simply, being self-reliant, and the

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individual being rather then the group. An influence that was also missing from the American
Arts and Crafts Movement was Art Nouveau because it was less important, with the exception of
the works by Tiffany (Hinchman, 2009).
Craftsman architecture dominated during 1910 until 1925. The most recognizable
architecture was the bungalow, which was strictly used for domestic buildings. The style of
home was originally from India, which is where the living and dining rooms had high ceilings
that featured clerestory windows used from ventilation and shaded verandahs that provided a
living area outdoors. The bungalows and the Craftsman Style were so popular that Sears sold
them through mail-order catalogs and named their line of tools after the style. Western Stick
Style was another term for the Craftsman Style bungalows, but was strictly used in California for
the high-style examples (Ireland, 2009).
The bungalows were relatively small homes with attached, shaded roofs. Low pitch roofs
with minimal chimneys protruding and wide eaves to shade the walls were common features for
the exterior. Normally the bungalows were one to one-and-a-half stories with a vast amount of
windows. Asian influences on the designers were clear in some cases and the interiors had a
clear focal point, the brick of stone fireplace (Ireland, 2009). The American Arts and Crafts
designers were able to combine numerous influences, from Spanish Mission, colonial mansions,
and horizontal Prairie houses to Swiss chalets and Norwegian cabins, gracefully. They even
included the Japanese landscaping and architecture influences. The result was a new, organic
style that had a deep sense of place in the landscape. This need for combination comes from
Gustav Stickley, the writer of The Craftsman magazine (Todd, 2004). However, in Pasadena is
where the Greene brothers built the deeply inspired homes. Ashbee, who met the brothers in
1909, wrote of the elder brother, Charles:

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Like Lloyd Wright the spell of Japan is upon him, he feels the beauty and makes magic
out of the horizontal line, but there is in his work more tenderness, more subtlety, more
self-effacement than in Wrights work. It is more refined and has more reposeperhaps
it is California that speaks rather than Illinois (Anscombe, 1991).
Greene and Greene
The following section will dive deep into the lives of the Greene brothers. Where they
came from, who they were, why they became architects, and more. There will be five sections.
The first will be all about the Greene brothers lives. Next the development of their joint
architectural practice will be discussed. The third section will speak about the development of
their design philosophy, which will lead into the inspiration of the two brothers, which affected
their design philosophy greatly. And finally their treatment of materials and the materials that
they commonly used will be discussed in order to understand their design of The Gamble House.
The Greene Brothers
There were few practioners of the Arts and Crafts Movement in America that were as
devoted as the Greene brothers. They approached their designs in a logical manner, including
those for furniture. The Greene brothers showed the nature of their construction throughout
their designs; joinery was treated as a design element. So too were the materials used
(Mankinsin & Henis, 2004). Charles Sumner Greene was born in 1868 and younger brother
Henry Mather Greene in 1870 in Cincinnati, Ohio (Anscombe, 1991, Blakesley, 2006, Todd,
2004, & Hinchman, 2009). Charles wished to become a painter later in life, but he and his
brother studied at the Manual Training High School in Saint Louis and later at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology in Boston. Both later worked in the Boston area, in separate
architectural firms (Anscombe, 1991, Blakesley, 2006, & Todd, 2004).

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Later, it is debated 1893 or 1894, the brothers moved to Pasadena to join their parents
(Anscombe, 1991 & Blakesley, 2006). Over time the brothers style shifted from American
Shingle to British Georgian, but they eventually became interested in the Arts and Crafts
Movement following Charles honeymoon to England in 1901 (Blakesley, 2006). It was in this
style their architectural firm, called Greene & Greene, flourished and their most prominent
project was The Gamble House (Hinchman, 2009).
The brothers were regularly published in The Craftsman, Architectural Record, and
Western Architect. The designs showcased exemplified Arts and Crafts and how it could be
reworked to suit any climate (Blakesley, 2006). The brothers agreed upon more than just the
Arts and Crafts ideology, they also agreed that the Victorian era was a costly stylistically. They
agreed that the high ceilings were costly not only in heat, but also intimacy. Due to this
agreement the brothers made their ceilings strictly between seven-and-a-half feet and nine feet.
There were some rare occasions where extra ceiling height was needed for special lighting
fixtures or to reach natural daylight. Since they lowered the ceiling height, they too lowered the
door height in order to make it seem proportional. Doors were six foot four inches, with a woodtrim headband that they circled around the room. This wood-trim headband organized all the
door and window openings for their designs (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Development of Design Practice
In 1893, the Greene brothers established their architectural practice in Pasadena (Todd,
2004). At first the brothers worked in Mission, New England Shingle, colonial Queen Anne, and
Dutch revival Styles. However, after viewing the examples of Japanese architecture at the
Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 the brothers became greatly influenced by the
Japanese architecture. Four years later, the brothers met John Bentz, who helped them expand

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their knowledge of Japanese architecture. Bentz was a large importer of oriental antiquities and
books (Anscombe, 1991). In 1899 the brothers created their own style. This was the year that
Charles made a forty-two inch square table for his fiance. A table he crafted in his own garage
from scraps and flooring from their construction sites. The design was simple, forthright and
completely free of historical influence. Not only was this piece important in their development
of design, but it was also the first piece of Greene furniture (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
During the early years, 1894 to 1900, the brothers used plaster and stucco in a traditional
sense. However, after Charles honeymoon in England he became fascinated with the Arts and
Crafts Movement, specifically C.F.A. Voyseys work (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004). A second trip
to England, made in 1909, also helped the brothers become further influenced. They translated
the influence into what is known today as the ultimate bungalows. These bungalows were
elegant, exciting and filled with custom-made furniture. The Greene brothers, who were
accomplished woodworkers, worked closely with a pair of brothers, Peter and John Hall. The
Hall brothers helped the Greene brothers execute many of the designs under Charles supervision
(Todd, 2004).
The brothers were the quintessential Arts and Crafts men in America, absorbing all they
could from their training at the Manual Training High School, MIT, and their trips. Most of their
influence came from the Manual Training High School, or at least the craftsmanship influence.
At the high school, the brothers spent the first half of the day studying in classes and the second
half of the day was spent learning the arts of metal work, carpentry, and other trades that were
important in their future as architects of the Arts and Crafts Movement (Todd, 2004). Charles
and Henry both highly admired the Arts and Crafts ideas that Charles discovered while in
England in 1901 as well as in The Craftsman publications. They found that the inexpensive

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bungalows and the Japanese harmony inspiring (Anscombe, 1991). England changed Charles so
much that upon return in 1901 he covered the exterior of his home with a rough-pebble dash
finish. This highly textured wall covering then became a major part of their vocabulary
(Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Between 1901 and 1904, the Greene brothers began venturing into the realm of furniture
design. Charles furniture in his studio and his sister-in-laws house were clearly influenced by
Stickleys use of the linear line and quarter-sawn oak (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004). It was
common during this time for the brothers to use furniture created by Stickely, notably in the
James Culbertson House from 1902 (Anscombe, 1991). By the time C.R. Ashbee visited the
brothers in 1909, work was pouring in at a rate that they were able to pick and choose the clients
they felt shared and respected their artistic vision (Todd, 2004).
In 1903 the Bandinis called upon Charles Greene for a small commission. This small
commission shaped the Greene brothers design aesthetic. The Bandinis asked to have a small
bungalow with a charming central courtyard. The home was to represent Bandinis roots in the
culture, government and environment of early California. By 1904 the influence of the Orient
design was clear in the detail of Jennie A Reeves furniture. They used cedar and oak with
extended pegs, which immersed into the Greenes vocabulary quickly (Mankinsin & Heniz,
2004).
Between 1904 and 1907 the vocabulary of Greene & Greene was clear and their
confidence, not only in themselves, but also in their craftsman, shone. Experimentation was
behind the brothers and the reputation of the firm became well established at this time. One
distinguishing theme of the Greene brothers was the use of a massive wall buttress, which was
originally a signature of Voyseys work. This type of signature can be seen in the Henry M.

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Robinson House they design in 1905 (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004). It was shortly after this time,
in 1908, that Charles created his most unusual design for a wingback chair for the Freeman A
Ford House. This design had been experimented with in three previous homes, including an
overstuffed version for the Gamble bedroom (Mankinson, 1979).
The brothers had achieved international recognition for their vocabulary in architecture,
however their non-structural designs (mostly furniture) was over-looked by many. The phrase
Greene and Greene furniture normally only refers to the pieces they created between 1907 and
1909 for the ultimate bungalows. It is because those homes were subject to photographers and
writers; however their furniture design started in 1900 and ended in the mid-1930s. The next
phase of their firm was between 1907 and 1909 when they did create the ultimate bungalows.
This is when Charles Greene created some of the finest furniture in America in the Arts and
Crafts Movement. It is also the time when the brothers had developed a confidence in
themselves and their designs (Mankinsin, 1979).
Between 1907 and 1913, the furniture varied for the clients; however the vocabulary was
still there and was quite clear. During this time the Greenes were able to select woods such as
Honduras mahogany of very fine grades, solid teakwood, ash, walnut, ebony, rosewood, and
maple due to the large budgets they were supplied with by their selected clients. Charles would
normally allow the natural grain read, dealt with silhouette forms and allowed joinery to
dominate his designs. The resulting designs were unsurpassed in the Arts and Crafts Movement;
one of the homes was The Gamble House (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Serenity shines from the ultimate bungalows, particularly from The Blacker and The
Gamble Houses. The designs were romantically asymmetrical, utilized shingle stone, and timber
that resulted in buildings that are low in the landscape and simplistic. The homes offered a

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sanctuary from the industrialization of the world and the balconies and overhanging roofs
provided a sense of seclusion and shade (Todd, 2004).
The furnishings for the ultimate bungalows first started with The Robert R. Blacker
House of 1907, which were influenced by Japanese design (Anscombe, 1991, & Mankinsin,
1979). These pieces were followed by those in The David B. Gamble and Freeman A. Ford
Houses in 1908, The William R. Thorsen House in 1909 and The Charles M. Pratt House in 1910
(Mankinsin, 1979). However, it is said that the brothers greatest Arts and Crafts masterpiece
was The Gamble House (Todd, 2004).
The furniture designed for the ultimate bungalows was greatly admired by C.R. Ashbee.
He wrote about the brothers were making the best and most characteristic furniture he had ever
seen in America and compared their work to those of the best English craftsman (Blakesley,
2006 & Todd, 2004). Ashbee even stated that he never felt so at home in any other workshop in
America, like he did when visit the Greene brothers in 1909. Ashbee believed the brothers were
among the best and, were like Frank Lloyd Wright, entranced by Japanese architecture.
However Ashbee believed the brothers were more refined and their designs had more repose tha
Wright (Todd, 2004). By 1916 the firm was on the decline. This was when Charles moved
north to Carmel, California and did little work. The last time the brothers would collaborate
would be in 1923 (Anscombe, 1991).
Development of Design Philosophy
The Greene brothers were very much like Frank Lloyd Wright in their design philosophy.
They were highly interested in the relationship of houses with their settings. They decided to
express this with their choice of local materials, such as arroyo stone for foundations, pathways,
steps, and retaining walls whereas wood was used for the homes. A great example of this is The

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Gamble House where the porches are wooden and the terraces are made of stone. The brothers
strove to link the interior and exterior (Anscombe, 1991). Instead of looking to the past
traditional styles, the Greenes brought a fresh expression drawn from the materials, their
imagination, and their skills (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
The Greene brothers believed that a house cannot be successful unless the owners gave
the home time and thought, no matter how expensive the design cost them to pursue. They
believed that someone needed to inform clients that good work costs much more than factory
products or imitation products that were popular at the time of their start. They also believed that
there was hope for a new architectural expression. Thus their style began with a set of principles
rather than from past styles. The brothers listened to the site and to gain their initial direction for
the character of a home. The available materials appropriate to the area gave substance to their
designs. They also blended in the needs of each client into the analysis of the site and the
available materials. Their employment of local, skilled craftsmen and the brothers sensitivity
and skill helped them weave a harmonious whole with each design (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
The signature of the Greene & Greene style began with the flying horizontal beams,
which were first introduced in the White sisters house, the sister-in-laws of Charles Greene.
There was also the foundations of exposed brick, boulders, or rough concrete, terraces defined by
their brick or textured concrete railings, wood structural system with a large amount of rhythm
which came from rafters, timbers, and railings, joinery which suggested wooden sculpture,
exterior walls of linear wood, shingles, shakes, or horizontal siding or textured hand-dash coat
stucco, creative use of stained and leaded glass, interiors of wood and plaster, and the inclusion
of furniture and furnishings created by the brothers (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).

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Henry Greene seemed much more logical, thinking of the four-square plan as the most
cost-effective plan, but his older brother was able to create variations of the plan which allowed
for the exotic plans the brothers produced. Charles also wrote to the local press about their
shared philosophy. In these writings he stated:
Our attempts mostly in the line of domestic architecture may be arranged in three grand
divisions: 1) to understand as many phases of the human life as possible; 2) to provide for
its individual requirement in the most practical and useful way; 3) to make these
necessary and useful things pleasurable. (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
The arrangement of the plan was the beginning of the essence of the Greene & Greene
style. The arrangement was deliberate and responded to the orientation of the sun, breezes,
vistas, and other natural landscape elements. The brothers left doors and window frames
naturally looking by only oiling the wood. These were accented by the roofing material, which
was normally a soft gray-green tone and were contrasted by the aged copper roof drains and
down spouts. Due to the pieces all working together there is little need for added decoration on
the exterior of any of their designs. This was Greene & Greene style; all elements were clearly
thought out, the tools, materials, and principles were all common, yet the way in which they were
used caused an individuality and unique expression in their architecture (Mankinsin & Heniz,
2004).
The language of the Greene brothers began to appear in 1903 rapidly. This emerging
language paralleled the freedom they were given for designing the Bandini House. The main
elements found were the dramatic post-and-beam structure, reoccurring forms and rhythm of the
roof elements, celebration at joins, and the handling of joinery. Heavy cantilevers of timber
spanned great lengths and carried the overhanging eaves. These cantilevers were so important

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because the eaves helped protect homes from the San Gabriel Valley sun (Mankinsin & Heniz,
2004).
Repetitive roof rafters spoke to the ordered structural system. The rafters even had
sculpted tails, shaped by hand, which projected beyond the eaves. Due to the shaping the rafters
gave changing shadows throughout the day that danced across the homes. The Greenes did not
stop just at details in wood but also in metal. They placed metal straps on the timbers, which
added a decorative touch to their brutal honesty in the materials. What was missing from the
Greene & Greene vocabulary was superficial stylistic pieces and historical styles. The
expression of their architecture was carefully composed thinking of the texture, shape, and color
of every detail before the final product was even begun (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Between 1903 and 1907 the brothers developed and refined not only their design
practices, but also their design philosophy and vocabulary. The brothers were able to give grace
and dignity to inexpensive homes, creating luxury rather than depending on luxury. They took
the principles of the Arts and Crafts Movement to an unsurpassed height (Mankinsin & Heniz,
2004). This is when the houses the Greenes where best known for were constructed (Anscombe,
1991).
Low-built houses with gabled roofs that dominated and wide, overhanging eaves were
what the brothers were best known for during their time. They were able to combine numerous
inspirations into a beautiful design for each home that was very individual to each home
(Anscombe, 1991). Not only did the brothers combine many inspirations, but they also thought
of the climate of California. Cross-ventilation with the overhanging roofs which gave shade and
the wide porches were made for outdoor sleeping. Henry described their idea best in 1912: The
idea was to eliminate everything unnecessary, to make the whole as direct and simple as

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possible, but always with the beautiful in mind as the first goal. The brothers were fortunate
and had wealthy clients. However, many times Charles had to defend his artistic vision (Todd,
2004).
The Greene & Greene style was precise and disciplined, yet at the same time relaxed.
This also shows the brothers idea of the Arts and Crafts Movement in California. Their style was
distinctly their own, but was clearly part of the Arts and Crafts Movement and the bungalow
style. Their designs showed that designs should evolve from the site and were highly
proportional. The level of detail and craftsmanship of the brothers is still unsurpassed by any
architect or designer (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Inspiration
While in Boston, the brothers studied the Asian exhibits in the Museum of Fine Arts and
possibly the exhibits at the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893 (Blakesley, 2006 & Todd,
2004). However, during the Worlds fair of 1904, held in Saint Louis, is what fortified the
brothers love of Asian arts. It was during the Worlds fair that the brothers were able to look at
displays of artifacts and designs from India, Ceylon, China and Japan (Blakesley, 2006).
Oriental gardens and Japanese prints were a great influenced them the most; they brought a
similar idea of the pastoral and spare elegance to their work that they found in these pieces
(Todd, 2004).
However, the gardens were more the more important inspiration for the brothers. They
used steeping stones, quiet pools, delicate lanterns, and formal tubs in the garden of The Gamble
House. Even the use of pulling nature inside was an inspiration. Specifically in The Gamble
House the brothers created the Tree of Life art-glass panels that were the front doors, which
echoed the vines from the exterior garden (Todd, 2004).

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Charles and Henry Greene were also concerned with the placement of the homes they
designed. They wanted to incorporate the homes into the overall landscape, creating a whole
from the parts. The brothers used gardens to link the low-built homes to the landscape, even
including vines growing up pergolas. Italian Villa and their Gardens, by Wharton, was a large
inspiration when it came to this linking of the two. This is evidenced in The Cordelia A
Culbertson House built in 1911, along with a home Charles worked on in 1920 (Todd, 2004).
The International Studies and The Craftsman also inspired the brothers. These
inspirations made the brothers respond with the ultimate bungalows, which perfectly suited the
Californian climate and the sites of the homes the brothers designed. The Craftsman in particular
provided the idea of appropriate architecture (Blakesley, 2006). The brothers were also briefly
inspired by the furniture made by Stickley and other furniture designers of the Arts and Crafts
movement (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Materials
As Charles grew more confident in both his abilities and creativity, the brothers were able
to convince their clients to be confident in their ability to create furniture for their homes. The
brothers eventually created the leaded stained glass, lighting, carpets, hardware, fireplace tools,
garden pottery, curtains, fabrics, book plates, the landscape, and other household items, mainly
for the ultimate bungalows (Mankinsin, 1979). They created the homes both inside and out,
allowing each room to observe the handcraftsmanship of the wood, art-glass windows and light
fixtures. The Gamble House in particular was given a serene and dignified feeling with the
layout of the furniture, the design of each piece of furniture, the art-glass windows, and the light
fixtures, which were frame by mahogany (Todd, 2004).

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The brothers were able to do this by analyzing the interior spaces. The Greene brothers
looked at the quality of light, which would pour into each room; which rooms would have
morning, afternoon, or evening day lighting, which was most desirable for each room; and the
views for each interior space. All of this was figured out before much of anything else was
determined. The brothers were also concerned with the mood, character, materials, and the
furnishings of interior spaces in the early stages of designing the homes. The brothers drew up
conceptual drawings, called pencil-on-tissue sketches, which detailed not only the furniture, but
also detail pieces like a vase, the placement of the vase, and the arrangement in the vase. The
Greene brothers followed a specific process for designing each room, which was similar to the
process that they followed to create a home. The brothers thought of the scale of the room,
placement of the doors and windows, and the views from each room to the beautifully designed
gardens all before the initial building happened (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Occasionally the brothers created interiors of only wood ceilings, walls, floors and
furniture other times the brothers limited wood to only be paneling and trim while utilizing
plaster for the walls and ceiling. Sometimes the Greene brothers even just used woo as a trim in
rooms. The plaster utilized in the interior spaces had different finishes, ranging from a finesanded finish that was stained with a nearly transparent stain to add color or covered with canvas
and then painted. Interior color schemes originally took advantage of bold colors, which could
be seen in the work of H.H. Richardson on the Trinity Church in Boston. Although later on in
their work, the brothers softened the color palette to mainly earth tones in a bold manner
(Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Throughout the interiors the Greenes created one design statement was clear based on
the multiplicity of elements: oneness. Charles Greene described this as the oneness of all that

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exists. It was a major element of their designs, combining both strength and a sense of calm in
the furniture, details, and materials used. The brothers were careful when it came to introducing
items such as carpets, light fixtures, and furniture. This was to not compete with the oneness of
the room. This could be why the brothers allowed the structural support to be a prominent
element in some spaces (Mankinsin 7 Heniz, 2004).
The ability to utilize the structural support created a character for the homes, which
combined the exterior and the interior along with impacting to the organization of the spaces.
The brothers also created inglenooks, fireplaces, and built-in cabinetry to affect the feeling of the
rooms. These pieces had a large impact in the rooms because they were focal points (Mankinsin
& Heniz, 2004).
The clients needs, desires, and budget were all reflected in the material chosen by the
Greene brothers. However, the Greenes design philosophy provided the direction of the quality
for the interiors created for each home. This is how the brothers were distinctively different;
they handled common materials in an uncommon way. Common things, such as window frames,
trim, and water drainage were treated as part of the aesthetic value of the homes; making them
not only functional, but also beautiful was the goal of the Greene brothers. They spent as much
time figuring out the design as they did on the details of the pieces created. The brothers also
paid attention to the finishes that they used. Wood received penetrating oils, which made the
wood appear soft; the plaster appeared to be velvety and the bricks on stairs seemed pliable
(Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Whenever two materials met, the brothers added a detail that invited touching when seen
in person. Their success in detail creating paralleled their success in creating homes. The details
the brothers created are actually standard details that they simply personalized. Some details,

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like that of the chair stretchers that have a cloud lift, were meant to soften harsh lines between
points (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
By 1905 the brothers stopped using a hand-applied technique when applying dash coat to
the exterior of a building. They instead used a technique utilizing a pressurized hose, a technique
often called Gunite, shotcrete or cement gun. This Gunite technique was controlled by hand,
which gave uneven results on the surface of a building. The Greene brothers were fine with this
because it lent to a textured surface, which the brothers were quite fond of textures. Not only did
this technique allow for a variation of the thickness on the surface, but it also strengthened the
concrete two to four times that of hand-poured concrete. The concrete was juxtaposed by the
linearity of the wood construction, which allowed the concrete to appear soft and pliable, yet
durable at the same time. This rough dash coat was applied over the brick foundation of the
homes and was also offset by the smooth terracotta planters the brothers created for the gardens
(Mankinsin &Heniz, 2004).
There was brick masonry elsewhere that did not get covered by Gunite. This masonry
celebrated straight lines and bricks were laid out in a very artistic manner. This artistic manner
was called tapestry brick, which the brothers found fascinating. Clinker bricks, or bricks that
were burned and disfigured in the kiln, were preferred by the Greene brothers. Clinker bricks
allowed for variation in color, form, and provided character to the structure. The brothers often
utilized bricks to be the base for a wood building, creating walls, terraces, and stairs on the
exterior to draw visitors into the building from the sidewalk. The brothers even utilized brick on
the interior, which brick was considered an exterior or structural material for the most part at the
time. The Greene brothers would create massive fireplaces of brick and later used softened
bricks in more formal interiors. The softened, or honed, bricks were placed in a precise manner

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and the brothers still enjoyed having color in the bricks. The Greene brothers would use bricks
that varied in color from terracotta toned bricks to golden iron bricks. Along with brick the
brothers used stones and boulders in their architectural vocabulary. Granite cobblestones and
boulders from the local San Gabriel Valley were plentiful and beautiful from the years of being
in the elements. They used this material for foundations, and retaining walls mainly in their
earlier homes, but they utilized these materials for their our homes in 1904. These materials
were also used for the fireplaces, hearths, and seating on the inglenooks. The brothers became so
skilled at placing the stones that their interiors appeared to be created by nature (Mankinsin &
Heniz, 2004).
Due to the lack of variation in the granite, the Greene brothers never created spaces with
just the granite stone. Normally the brothers intermixed the granite with the clinker brick. The
clinker brick brought in warm tones accenting the granite. Other builders enjoyed the visual
effect this brought to a room, but were unable to interpret it properly. This interpretation became
known as the peanut brittle style (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
When the Greene brothers started their firm electricity was new and desirable. In
response the brothers sought a way to diffuse the harsh glare of the new light bulbs along with
safely handling the wiring of the lights. Since electric light was fairly new the brothers were
fascinated with the effects that could be created from direct, indirect, hanging, suspended and
wall sconce light fixtures. The brothers utilized mica, frosted glass, leaded stained glass, fabrics,
wood, leather, and metal to create the lighting fixtures for the interior and exterior of the homes
they built. Each light fixture was unique and was created for the specific place that the brothers
placed the light (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004). The light fixtures were desgined by Charles
Greene, but some of the designs were carried out with Tiffanys glass and created by Lange.

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Wood or metal frames would be created to hold the glass panels. If the lights were to be
suspended in any way, the brothers would utilize metal rods or leather straps which would not
only accent the frame, but also the rest of the design (Mankinsin, 1979).
The Greene brothers employed metal in other designs for the interior spaces they created
as well. Brass, copper, and silver were popular elements used for the inlay patterns the brothers
created in furniture and lighting fixtures, and wrought iron and steel were used structurally as the
straps on timbers (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004). The brothers also created doorknobs, switch
plates, door hinges, doorplates, fireplace fenders and tools to for the homes they designed
(Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004 & Mankinin, 1979).
The Greene brothers worked with ceramics in the form of tiles and pottery. The tiles
were placed in patterns of the fireplace surrounds n some homes, bathrooms and kitchens. The
pottery pieces were placed in the large square gardens such as for the Ford, Gamble and Thorsen
homes. The Greene brothers did not actually produce these items, instead Gladding-McBean
Company of Northern California created the pieces. However, Charles, being the over-bearing
designer that he was, went to the plant to mix the glazes himself between 1908 and the 1930s
(Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
An important material in the work of Greene and Greene was stained glass. Although it
was used in many homes of the twentieth century, the medium was one of the starring materials
of a Greene and Greene home. Stained glass was embraced in windows, and lighting fixtures
created based on Charles watercolors. John LaFarge and Louis Comfort Tiffany inspired their
work, however, the Greene brothers evolved creating greater color and textural range. The
brothers used as many as five layers of glass and two sheets of lead overlay (Mankinsin & Heniz,
2004). For some of the stained glass pieces, the Greene brothers would apply an acid-etching

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effect, for example the leaves on the stained glass doorway of The Gamble House (Mankinsin,
1979).
The enthusiasm for the Arts and Crafts movement and crafting original pieces that
Charles possessed became infectious with clients. He was permitted to create carpets, like those
in The Gamble House. Charles started the carpets in The Gamble House as watercolors, which
he sent to a company in Austria. However, when the carpets were delivered Charles was
dissatisfied with one of the colors that was woven into the pattern. In order preserve the integrity
of the overall design, Charles had the color removed, a new color dyed, and rewoven into place.
The Greene brothers did not just create carpeting for some of their designs, but also fabrics,
which were used as window treatments and bedspreads, were designed by them and crafted by
the women of the families (Mankinsin, 1979).
The defining material of the Greene brothers was wood, not only structurally, but also
decoratively. The woodcarvings the brothers created introduce texture and color into the spaces
they designed for the carvings. These carvings can be found in the wainscoting, frieze work,
furniture, and freestanding folding screens. The wood grain served as the basis for the carvings,
Charles clearly looked at the wood grain and wanted the designs to be as if they were in the
wood from nature. Occasionally gold leaf was applied to these designs; typically the wood was
only given color washes. Furniture made from wood was typically inlaid with silver, copper,
brass, ebony, mahogany, cherry, mother-of-pearl, and semi-precious stones. These inlays
provided texture and were only used if they would enhance the wood grain. These inlays were
also a nod to the past decorative arts that were still in many American homes (Mankinsin &
Heniz, 2004).

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One of the most recognizable pieces of Greene and Greene design was the wood
headband, which created organization of the doors and windows as well as creating a frieze
opening the option of multiple colors and decorations on the walls. Occasionally a second trim
was placed between the ceiling and the frieze, allowing for the ceiling to be a different color as
well. The Greene brothers would generally place the darkest color on the walls and gradually
lighten the color as it moved upward (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Multiple woods were often used in the same space and certain woods were used for
certain purposes. The exposed wood in interior spaces would normally be Douglas fir, Port or
Ford cedar would be the paneling and trim and the furniture designed by the brothers would have
been made of oak, ash, cedar, Honduras mahogany and teak with ebony details. The wood
varied for the furniture so much because of the ever-changing client taste and budget. Other
woods that were used as budgets became larger were walnut, rosewood and maple (Mankinsin &
Heniz, 2004).
The Greeene brothers worked with a pair of Swedish brothers, John and Peter Hall, when
it came to woodworking (Blakesley, 2006 & Anscombe, 1991). The Hall brothers rarely worked
outside of the Green designs because the brothers thought highly of the joinery and
cabinetmaking of the Hall brothers (Blakesley, 2006). The joinery the Greene and Hall brothers
created involved placing a peg at each joining place, this is one of the reasons the furniture and
buildings have lasted to this day. The brothers knew high winds and earthquakes were common
in California and implemented design found in Japanese structures. Another type of joint was
the finger-lap joint that then had a round peg, normally of ebony (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
The walls were typically plastered and had either a fine-grain sand finish, which had the
color integrated already or it was smooth with a canvas stretched over it, which was then painted.

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Occasionally the brothers would work with the plaster while still wet, one example would be
Charles Carmel studio where he took wood carving and pressed them into the wet plaster
creating a pattern, or they placed watercolors in the wet plaster creating a subtle color when it
dried (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Furniture and decorative arts were introduced to the repertoire of the Greene brothers in
the later years of their firm. The brothers found joy in creating the decorative pieces for their
clients and were open minded to the use of materials due to the teaching they received in the
Manual Training High School. The ideas for the decorative pieces came strictly from the
architecture they created. Within these decorative arts the brothers used several materials. One
material the brothers enjoyed to use for their upholstery, screen hinges, and straps for hanging
lights was leather (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Occasionally the clients did not have the budget for custom pieces. When this occurred
the brothers worked as much as possible in selecting commercial pieces. Gustav Stickley and
Elbert Hubbards Roycroft furniture and accessories wee typical for the Greene interiors when
there was no budget for Greene furniture and decorative arts (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
The Gamble House
In February of 1908 the drawings were completed for The Gamble House and work
began the following March. Within a year the home was completed (Todd, 2004). The Gamble
House is thought to be the most expressive of the ultimate bungalows created by the Greene
brothers. The home was created for David Gamble behind the Proctor and Gamble Company,
which originated in Cincinnati the birthplace of the Greene brothers (Blakesley, 2006 & Jeffery,
2001). The Gamble House was a winter home for the family located in Pasadena, California
(Blakesley, 2006 & Todd, 2004). The Gamble House stayed with the Gamble family until 1966,

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when it was presented to the City of Pasadena and University of Southern California (Todd,
2004).
The Arts and Crafts principles are alive in The Gamble House. Shadows emphasize the
horizontal lines, exposed joints, natural materials, simple interiors, and numerous windows. In
fact the third-story billiard room had windows facing each direction allowing for ventilation of
the heat and sleeping porches were created off each bedroom to provide a comfortable sleeping
space even in the heat of Southern California (Todd, 2004, & Blakesley, 2006).
The Gamble House was commissioned at the same time as The Blacker House. Mr.
Gamble shared the belief in a total design and allowed the brothers to design the building,
furniture, and every detail down to the switch plates (Jeffery, 2001, & Anscombe, 1991). Most
bungalows of the time were not as grand or sophisticated as The Gamble House. Usually meant
for middle-class families, with some money set aside, these homes featured one or one-and-ahalf stories (Ireland, 2009). Not only did The Gamble House feature three stories, but it also had
five bathrooms between the ground and first floor. The master bedroom, decorated in dark earth
tones, did not have a dressing room, but it have a large walk-in closet and had cedar shelves to
display the collection of Rookwood vases the Gambles possessed (Todd, 2004).
The exterior of The Gamble House shows signs of Shingle style, bungalow form, and Far
East traditions. This may seem dark to those who think of the light-filled homes of later
architects in southern California. The exterior, as was stated earlier, had sleeping porches, but it
also contained balconies, verandas, and patios, which extended into the landscape of the home
(Blakesley, 2006). These spaces we created for entertaining, socializing, and sleeping outside
and they provided cross-ventilation for the spaces they linked to on the interior (Blakesley,
2006& Todd, 2004). In order to catch this cross-ventilation, the brothers planned the structure in

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a certain position, along with the position of the windows, porches, etc. Along with the cooling
cross-ventilation, there was also the utilization of stained glass, low-wattage blubs, and woodframed fixtures allowed the interiors to remain cool and dim (Blakesley, 2006).
A series of wooden porches, that links the home to the landscape, dominate the faade.
The use of wood was pulled into the home in paneling, beams, wooden floors, and frames for
stained glass (Jeffery, 2001). The Pasadena Daily News praised the Gamble House when it was
completed for the use of mahogany, teakwood, oak, and white cedar used throughout the
interiors. It also detailed the five bathrooms, the three sleeping porches, two terraces, the garden,
the billiard room, large closets in the bedrooms, built in cupboards, and large kitchen with a
butlers pantry (Todd, 2004).
As with other commissions, the brothers worked closely with Mary Gamble keeping in
mind her interests and lifestyle. However, the overall result came mainly from the brothers
vision (Todd, 2004). This vision is clear and apparent when one looks at the interior detail sheet.
The detail sheet marks were tiles and handles were to be placed and all of the built-in cabinetry
and all of the designs were executed exactly as they were depicted originally. One of the pieces
detailed was a built-in sideboard for the dining room to be made of mahogany and art glass
(Blakesley, 2006). Wood was celebrated in the interior by the brothers, not only because of its
use in furniture, built-ins, lighting, and more, but also because of the soft patina on the steel
straps bolting timbers together (Blakesley, 2006 & Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
The entrance hall is dominated by wood paneling, but the front door is a celebrated piece
of art by itself (Todd, 2004). The door is a paneled and features stained glass crafted by Emil
Lange based off a design Charles created (Todd, 2004 & Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004). The entry
hall also features the stairway. The design for the stairway was influenced by Japanese furniture

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design and well as being almost sculptural (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004 & Ireland, 2009). The
stairway features finger joints between each riser; this detail contributed to the home staying in
near mint condition even after earthquakes and the foot traffic of the family and now visitors.
Integrate into the stairway is a column and seating for the entry hall (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Off the entry hall is David Gambles study, a room the Greene brothers allowed to have a
few pieces that were not created by the brothers. These pieces included a Morris chair and David
Gambles desk, which was originally in the Gamble familys Cincinnati home (Todd, 2004 &
Jeffery, 2001). A feature in David Gambles study is the brick arch, which supports the hearth
(Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Down the hall and into the drawing room Burma teak was used along the walls until the
frieze. In the drawing room the bay window features a settee, the inglenook features two settles,
glass-fronted cabinets, and a table, and two rocking chairs on either side of the fireplace. The
furniture placed in the inglenook seemed to create a room within a room (Todd, 2004).
The dining room, which displayed the oneness of Greene design, featured colored glass
paneled windows and a dining room table of significant importance (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004,
Todd, 2004, & Mankinsin, 1979). The table was proportioned, detailed and finished in such a
way that it became a sculptural piece in the home (Mankinsin, 1979). The living room was also
important mostly for the pieces featured in it. The Tree of Life carpet was placed in this room
and was designed specifically for the fireplace nook, rather than using an Oriental rug. Oriental
rugs were common in Greene and Greene design, however Charles wanted to pull the entry hall
door design into the living room in an abstract way. The Tree of Life rug features olive
greens, blues, browns, rose, and mauves (Todd, 2004). Also featured in the living room of The
Gamble House are Grueby-tile and art-glass-inlay for the fireplace surround, light fixtures,

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custom made fireplace tools, and hand-finished wood details. These details helped to refine the
living room (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004).
Upstairs from these rooms were the bedrooms. The master bedroom features a chiffonier
and a dresser created by the Greene brothers. Both feature horizontal battens on the sides and
back, but the chiffonier features intricate inlay work. The inlay work features ebony in the shape
of tsuba, sword guards on Japanese swords, and fruitwood as flowers. The chiffonier also
features finger-lap joinery, which is detailed with ebony pegs in the drawers (Mankinsin &
Heniz, 2004). Other than the direct family, Mr. and Mrs. Gamble and their two sons, the Greene
brothers created a bedroom for Mrs. Gambles sister, Julia Huggins (Mankinsin, 1979). For Julia
Huggins room the brothers created a letter-writing box, and a writing table, which featured
silver, ebony, and fruitwood inlay on a maple surface (Mankinsin & Heniz, 2004 & Mankinsin,
1979).
The interior of the home brought the exterior into the home; this is exhibited in the rugs,
stained glass windows, custom lighting, open floor plan, and tile inlay (Mankinsin & Heniz,
2004, Ireland, 2009 & Blakesley, 2006). The dash-coat stucco that was placed on the foundation
and terrace walls accentuated the exterior of The Gamble House (Mankinsin, 1979).
Conclusions
I find that the Arts and Crafts Movement, both in Britain and America, was extremely
important in shaping the minds of future designers. Not only was the movement about
simplicity, but it was also a reminder to look at the details of your work. The details can make or
break your design in the future, like the details in the stairway of The Gamble House without
them the stairway may not be original still today. At first I did not like the Arts and Crafts style
of furniture and architecture, however, while doing this paper my mind changed. I began to not

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necessarily love the furniture and architecture, but enjoy the simplicity, functionality, the
craftsmanship behind the work, and the philosophy driving the movement.

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Bibliography
Anscome, I. (1991). Arts and crafts style. New York: Rozzoli.
Blakesley, R. (2006). The arts and crafts movement. New York: Phaidon Press Inc.
Dizik, A.A. (1988). Arts and Crafts movement. (1988). Concise encyclopedia of interior design.
New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.
Hinchman, M. (2009). History of furniture: A global view. New York: Fairchild Books, Inc.
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