The Gamble House was designed in the first decade of the 20th century by famous architects Greene and Greene. The Gamble House is an epitome of craftsman architecture that preserves original furnishings as the fore-architects engineered them. Daily tours to this Arts and Crafts home vary with the last one being at 3 pm. The most convenient way of securing a spot on the tour is through advance purchase of advanced tickets before they sell out.
On weekends the tours start from 12:00 Noon to 3:00 pm, with each lasting thirty minutes. Children under the age of 12 are not charged. Students pay $12.50 and adults $15. During the weekday’s group tours and specialty, tours are offered with time and prices varying. An example of the specialty tours that was offered during my visit was behind the Velvet Ropes, which was an extended trip that paid a visit to all parts of the house for two hours and 30 minutes at the cost of $18 per hour.
During my tour of the Gamble House, I found out that they do offer event space for dinner, meeting, retreat, or luncheon with a fantastic setting of history and architecture. This event space is not only meant for the staff members but also for private organizations, special interested groups, and corporations.
Immediately I arrived at the Gamble House, I was amazed by the Craftsman appearance that made it seem as though it was growing from the ground by nature. There were great sheltering overhangs that conditioned the atmosphere, providing psychological sanctuary and, relief during winter. The front door was a masterpiece of forest-toned art glass and teak, showing a crooked oak winding across a space braced by solid panels. The art glass is a stylish solution for privacy. The vertical panel had a delicate mirror angle that broadens as it ascends to the rooftop. It is magical how the handcrafted teak staircase that rises to the second floor is not sharp-edged. The dining room’s chairs and tables are also carved in a similar manner without sharp edges.
The panels make use of natural light before nightfall, by dispersing subtle patterns of illumination that shift throughout the day. The roof was well guttered to capture rainwater and channel it to the garden and fish pond. Although the house has exposed structural timbers, it is the hand-rubbed cedar, teak and mahogany of the interior that makes the Gamble House more welcoming and timeless.
The largest room in the house is the living room which is partitioned into smaller vignettes that make the space more comfortable. Within the room, there was a table fit for games like backgammon and chess that overlooked the carriage house and lawn. The upstairs lobby was wide and long surrounded with a large bank of windows that faced the front yard.
Since most of the windows are shaded off by the large overhanging attic on the roof, the bay window bump-out opposite the fireplace is the brightest lit spot in the house during the day. The rest of the house is relatively dim depending on the warm amber stained glass fixtures to supply light. The master bedroom upstairs was spacious having two separate his-and-her beds and an elegant sitting spot in front of the fireplace.
From the tour, I learned that the Greenes brothers did not only design the house, but they also had a hand in the furnishings. This entails the chairs, tables, stained glass, cabinetry, light fixtures among other things in the Craftsman. The whole masterpiece was brought into reality by Greenes brothers trusting the craftsmen skills of Peter and John Hall.