The Gamble House – Pasadena, California - Atlas Obscura

The Gamble House

A stellar example of Art & Crafts architecture, and a movie set to boot. 


This beautiful Craftsman home is often referred to as “America’s Arts and Crafts masterpiece,” though most people now know it as Doc Brown’s home in the Back to the Future series of films.

In real life it also bridges time, as the history of the home ties Pasadena’s past to its present. In 1895, David Gamble retired from his position in the family-run Proctor & Gamble Company and began to winter in Pasadena with his wife Mary.

In 1907 they decided to build a permanent home in their adopted hometown, and hired the firm of Greene and Greene to design the home. The Greene brothers were known for their Ultimate Bungalows (think supersized Craftsman homes) which were heavily influenced by traditional Japanese architecture, and the Gamble House is without a doubt the finest example of their work.

The Gambles moved into the completed home in 1909 and lived there until their deaths in the 1920s. The home stayed in the Gamble family until 1966, when it was deeded to the city of Pasadena in a joint agreement with the USC School of Architecture. Today the home is a museum, with two 5th-year USC architecture students living in the house year-round.

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August 19, 2012

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