Category: Landmarks

Judson Studios – Mt. Washington

“A work of art is anything supremely well done.” -William Lees Judson

 

Source: http://www.judsonstudios.com/about/

Art lovers of Los Angeles, have you checked out the Judson Studios in Highland Park? Judson Studios is a family run stained-glass art studio that has been in Los Angeles since the end of the 19th century. Check out Judson Studios near Mt. Washington in Southern California for tours and education about the stained-glass process.

The new location of the studio is at 200 S. Avenue 66, Los Angeles, California, 90042 in the Highland Park neighborhood of the city of Los Angeles (in the Garvanza section). The founder William Lees Judson from England started the Judson Studios in 1895 with his sons. At that time, the studio worked under its first name: Colonial Art Glass Co. Judson produced glass for architect Frank Lloyd Wright and eventually founded the Los Angeles College of Fine Arts.

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Today, Judson Studios is made up of two separate locations. The location in South Pasadena specializes in fused and kiln formed glass designs, while the second location is open for tours at 143 Pasadena Ave, South Pasadena, California.

Judson Studios specializes in customized stain glass projects for any venue or location. The studio has produced beautiful glass for both public and private buildings, and the professional team is capable of producing glass for projects of all sizes. The team also takes on restoration and repair projects, including reinstallation of glass.

In addition to crafting some of the most beautiful stained-glass projects in the world, the team at Judson Studios completes every step of the stained-glass process, from design and concept all the way to glass installation. Judson glass is beautiful, breathtaking, and lasting.

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Photo Credit: http://pasadenaheritage.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Friday-Night-Reception_The-Judson-Studios.jpg

Artists at the Judson Studios are familiar with various styles of glass, and the studio produces both traditional projects as well as contemporary and cutting-edge projects. The artists there experiment with mixing both traditional techniques, contemporary styles, and the latest technologies to produce custom and unique glass designs. Judson Studios works to make designs and dreams a reality in gorgeous, colored glass.

Monthly public tours are available. The studios, which also hosts art exhibitions and artists-in-residence, is two-thousand square feet. The studio space includes a cutting room and a subterranean glazing room for glass work.

“Only the best is worthwhile” -Williams Lees Judson

Source: http://www.judsonstudios.com/about/

Since June of last year, the South Pasadena location has been open for tours. This studio is larger at five-thousand square feet. The space also includes kilns for innovative glass projects. David Judson is still the president of Judson Studios and the great-great-grandson of the original founder.

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Photo Credit: www.judsonstudios.com/portfolio/private-hotel-los-angeles/

Mt. Washington in Northeast Los Angeles is known for its steep hills and contemporary architecture. It is located a short half an hour from the Los Angeles Airport as well as from the famous Santa Monica Pier. In Mt. Washington, visitors and locals enjoy being in close proximity to the Self-Realization Fellowship, downtown Los Angeles, Eldred Street, and the Southwest Museum of the American Indian. Other nearby destinations include Hollywood, Moon Canyon Park, and the Carlin G. Smith Recreational Center.

The Real Estate Unlimited blog brings you expert knowledge and insider info about the city of Los Angeles. With our decades of experience in buying and selling luxury real estate, we are available today to assist you with learning about the city and the surrounding areas.

 

Galco’s Soda Pop Stop – Mt. Washington

Going to Bevmo is a treat, but no other beverage store in Los Angeles has as much character and history as Galco’s Soda Pop Stop. Located at 5702 York Blvd near Mt. Washington, Galco’s Soda Pop Stop was once a grocery store specializing in Italian food and sandwiches. Today, the store still contains and runs its deli and serves Blockbuster sandwiches.

Growing up, John F. Nese’s family herded goats in Chavez Ravine before having to move from the construction of Dodger Stadium. Nese became passionate about soda when he learned about the soda making process while visiting the soda bottling factory of a family friend in the 50s.

Later, while running Galco’s Old World Grocery — which offered unique Italian goods to the community — Nese experienced being locked out of soda distribution chains by larger retailers. When Pepsi offered prices Nese could not afford, he decided to start carrying smaller soda brands. What once started out as a soda endeavor involving 25 brands grew into the Galco’s Soda Pop Stop, which today carries more than 400 soda flavors.

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Many customers are initially stressed when facing the task of picking out just a few of Galco’s wide inventory of sodas. The possibilities are endless. However, once acquainted with the store, the great thing about Galco’s is that you have a choice between your favorite flavors, unique and wild flavors, and international brands. Just to name a few flavors, believe it or not, Galco’s offers butterscotch, birch, chocolate, cucumber, dandelion, caramel, honey, guava, lavender, mint julep, passionfruit, mandarin, mango, peach, rhubarb, rose, strawberry, tamarind, pineapple, vanilla, and more.

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Types of sodas on the shelves include coffee, egg cream, brews, sarsaparillas, ginger soda, diet sodas, kosher sodas, root beers, and non-carbonated sodas. If you can’t choose a soda, you can let loose on the Soda Creation Station. Customers mix creations into bottles from an assortment of 100 cane sugar syrups, which are mixed with carbonated water. You can also shop online, but note that the minimum order is 6 sodas.

Galco’s does soda in a big way, but it isn’t the only product or opportunity that the store has to offer. In addition to soda, the store houses 600 forms of beer within 10 cold cases. Besides the craft beer from around the country and the world, Nese stocks his shelves with options for everyone, like champagne, cider, mead, sake, wine, and artisanal waters.

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Photo Credit: http://galcos.dreamhosters.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Summer2012FeatureSodaPopE1.jpg

If you stop in to Galco’s Soda Pop Stop, be sure to check out the retro and vintage candy and toys. Show your family and friends the products you grew up loving, or find something new to take home.

About Mt. Washington: Mt. Washington is located in the San Rafael Hills in the Northeast region of the city of Los Angeles and was founded in 1909. It is known as home to Eldred Street (one of the steepest streets in the nation), the Southwest Museum, and the Headquarters of the Self-Realization Fellowship.

Real Estate Unlimited is a Los Angeles luxury real estate agency serving clients in Mt. Washington, Highland Park, Echo Park, Silver Lake, Pasadena, Los Feliz, Eagle Rock, Elysian Park, and more. We prioritize providing high quality service and unique knowledge about Los Angeles. Feel free to contact us today.

Creativity Runs Wild in Echo Park’s Animal Alley

Los Angeles is a mecca for contemporary art, including a vibrant culture of collaborative and public art projects. The city is filled with dynamic murals painted by local artists, and the Echo Park and Silver Lake areas are no exception. Today, we’ll show you the larger-than-life denizens of Animal Alley, a collaborative mural gallery in the Echo Park neighborhood.

Looking for more Echo Park public art? Check out our post about the Lady of the Lake!

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Elephant mural by artists Otto Schade and Cindy Schwarzstein – Photo Credit: Atlasobscura.com

Animal Alley is the brainchild of Los Angeles gallery owner Jason Ostro. He showcases emerging artists at Gabba Gallery, a boutique exhibition space Echo Park. His Gabba Gallery project began in 2014 as a constructive way to combat the prevalent graffiti and blight in the neighborhood. The initiative inspired local artists to begin decorating local alleys and side streets with imaginative artwork, on themes ranging from typewriters to superheroes to outer space.

Ostro kicked off the project with his own mural, a collaboration with local street artist Andrea LaHue, aka “Random Act.” Now, the Gabba Alley project incorporates over a hundred murals by more than eighty-five local and international artists. A prolific local talent whose compositions focus on botanical themes, “Random Act” has contributed her signature orchids to the Animal Alley murals.

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Mural by local street artist Phobik – Photo Credit: Imgrum.net

The artwork is focused in four alleys, three near Gabba Gallery and a “satellite street gallery” in Echo Park. “Animal Alley” takes its theme from the wild kingdom, and artists creating individual works for its walls are invited to base their artworks on the creatures of their choice.

“Animal Alley L.A.” can be found off Glendale Boulevard, just behind the Bob Baker Marionette Theater. Entries range from growling cheetahs to marching elephants to winged kittens – and since the Alley Project is eclectic by design, artists have created murals in a range of styles from figurative to realistic. Many painters have expanded on the animal theme by adding lush vegetation, including vines, ferns, and colorful flowers.

Looking for more local color? Read our post on the history of Echo Park’s Carroll Avenue!

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Lion mural in Animal Alley – Photo Credit: Imgrum.net

Ostro works with local residents and business owners to locate wall space, and most of the materials used to create the murals are donated. A few artists have contributed sculptures and art installations made from recycled materials, including a royal macaw made out of scrap metal from used coffee tins. National art supply chain Blick has been a proud sponsor of the Gabba Alley Project from the outset.

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Artists at work in Animal Alley – Photo Credit: Latimes.com

Animal Alley, like the other streets in the Gabba Alley Project, is designed to encourage neighborhood participation, so the project will be ongoing and may eventually expand into nearby side streets and wall spaces. Current murals occupy open walls, garage doors, and even dumpsters. Painting sessions tend to be half open studio, half block party, with troupes of artists showing up to work together on outsize compositions.

Animal Alley’s finished works already include fifteen bright animal-themed paintings, and the menagerie has already become a stop on several city art tours. If you’re planning to visit Echo Park, why not make a stop in Animal Alley? You can see local creativity and civic pride on display, and you might even catch local artists hard at work on a mural in progress!

Looking for places to eat during your visit? Read our guide to the best restaurants in Echo Park!

Real Estate Unlimited is a real-estate company dedicated to representing clients in Echo Park and other historic neighborhoods throughout the Los Angeles area. We pride ourselves on our in-depth knowledge of the Los Angeles area, and we’re glad to give our clients the benefit of our local expertise. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Echo Park’s Lady of the Lake

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Photo Credit: Kcet.org

Echo Park, LA is home to an impressive number of architectural and historical landmarks – including the Victorian homes on Carroll Avenue, the Pueblo-Style Atwater Bungalows, or Frank Lloyd Wright’s art-deco tribute to Mayan temple architecture, the Ennis House.

The Ennis House isn’t the only art-deco-inspired monument in Echo Park. The recently-renovated Lady of the Lake statue welcomes visitors to Echo Park Lake. Her official name is “Nuesta Reina de Los Angeles,” which translates to, “Our Queen of the Angels,” but locals tend to know her by her Arthurian nickname. In this post, we’ll tell you all about the history of this majestic sculpture.

Our story begins in 1934, when the Works Projects Administration, or WPA, commissioned a public statue for the city of Los Angeles. The WPA’s public arts division was designed to fund public projects by deserving artists who struggled to make ends meet during the depression – and also to assist in the creation of art works that would inspire everyday people. Many WPA mural and sculpture projects still survive. The WPA employed over 10,000 artists in total, including superstars like Diego Rivera and Willem de Kooning.

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Ada May Sharpless with the Lady of the Lake – Photo Credit: Lit250v.library.ucla.edu

Artist and sculptor Ada May Sharpless won the WPA commission for the Lady of the Lake, and she set out to create a monument that would capture both the history and unique cultural traditions of the Los Angeles area as well as a spirit of progress and modernity.

Ada May Sharpless grew up in Santa Ana, California, and developed an interest in painting and sculpture early on. She graduated from USC in 1922, and went on to study sculpture at the Otis Institute of Art and Design. She continued her exploration of form and design in Paris, where she studied with influential art deco sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. Sharpless created several other public sculptures in the Southern California area, including a full-length stone sculpture of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo for her hometown of Santa Ana.

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Photo Credit: Kcet.org

Sharpless’ work, like that of other art deco sculptors, is characterized by clean lines and stylized forms. Their work also called back to ancient sculpture traditions that emphasized the human form, including statues of Greek athletes and bas-relief friezes on Egyptian temples. Her “Queen of the Angels” was meant to synthesize these diverse influences into a seamless whole, a sculpture that was monumental, accessible, familiar, and innovative all at the same time.

The Lady of the Lake was installed in 1935, but the statue fell into neglect along with the park. Fingers broken, covered with graffiti, she was placed in storage in 1986, but restored in the late 1990s and returned to a renewed Echo Park Lake. Today the regal statue gazes down on visitors as they approach the park from the peninsula, with the water providing a dramatic backdrop. If you’d like to visit Echo Park’s own guardian naiad, you can find her welcoming visitors at the north end of the park.

Real Estate Unlimited is a real-estate company dedicated to representing clients in Echo Park and other historic neighborhoods throughout the Los Angeles area. We pride ourselves on our in-depth knowledge of the Los Angeles area, and we’re glad to give our clients the benefit of our local expertise. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Carroll Avenue in Echo Park

Carroll Avenue near Echo Park is one of the most famous streets in the country, having been immortalized through television and film due to its beauty. The street is the location of some of the oldest houses in the city of Los Angeles, including 19th century Victorian designs. As one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, it was listed in 1976 in the National Register of Historic Places.

As you visit Los Angeles, look for the historical marker on Carroll Avenue while you search for homes from your favorite Hollywood productions. The sign reads, “Highest Concentration of Victorian Era Residences” and lists the Cultural Heritage Board Monuments numbers associated with the historical structures. Here you’ll see architecture that playfully mixes Victorian styles with Japanese and Scottish styles of decor.

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You’ll recognize 1345 Carroll Avenue as the home filmed in the music video Thriller, starring legend Michael Jackson and movie star Vincent Price. John Landis directed the music video in 1983. Rewatch the video and see if you can spot the same house!

Next, if you’re a fan of Adam Sandler, you won’t want to miss 1324 Carroll Avenue, which was featured as Grandma Lily’s home in Grandma’s Boy. Sandler was an executive producer on this 2006 comedy; the film stars Allen Covert as Alex, a video game tester who moves in with his grandmother after his roommate fails to make rent. Nicholaus Goossen directed the film, and Nick Swardson and Covert co-wrote the script about Alex’s wacky dilemmas as he works on his own original video game.

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Remember the magical television show Charmed about the three enchanted Halliwell sisters? They lived together in their mother’s home, Halliwell Manor, the exterior of which was actually filmed at the location of 1329 Carroll Avenue. This house is also known as the Innes House, previously occupied by Daniel Innes and built in 1887. The home evokes the Victorian style popular in Los Angeles, the structure spans 2,900 square feet (including 5 bedrooms, and one bath). Don’t be fooled by the storyline of the TV show, which is set in San Francisco.

Many of the beautiful homes in Los Angeles are located in Echo Park, and the neighborhood is home to many well-loved Hollywood celebrities. Near Echo Park you will find Downtown Los Angeles, Chinatown, Silver Lake, and the Elysian Valley. Visit Echo Park to enjoy the excellent dining and nightlife options, enjoy a game at Dodger Stadium, fish in the city and experience the lotus garden at Echo Park Lake, and explore the biking and hiking trails of Elysian Park.

Other sights to visit in Echo Park include:

-Echo Park Time Travel Mart

-The Echo and The Echoplex

-Chavez Ravine Arboretum

-Baxter Street Stairs

Are you excited to learn more about the neighborhood of Echo Park and homes in the historic areas of Los Angeles? Feel free to contact our experienced team at Real Estate Unlimited for a consultation. We are knowledgeable on the history of and the properties in Los Angeles, and we are happy to share our listings of homes in Southern California.

The Ennis House – A Temple to Modern Architecture in Los Feliz

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Photo Credit: Losangelesloveaffair.wordpress.com

Falling Water may be the most famous Frank Lloyd Wright home, but this prolific architect created memorable buildings throughout America, including several in California. The Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz is home to the Ennis House, a Frank Lloyd Wright design meant to invoke the surrounding desert and the region’s ancient history. In this post, we’ll take a virtual tour of this Southern California original.

If you’d like to learn about another Los Angeles landmark, check out this blog post about the Holyland Exhibition in Silver Lake!

The Ennis House was commissioned by Charles and Mabel Ennis in 1923 and built in 1924. The house is the fourth and largest of Frank Lloyd Wright’s textile block designs, constructed primarily of molded concrete blocks in a unique graphic pattern meant to invoke ancient Mayan temples. The Ennis House complex is constructed of over 27,000 of these handmade concrete blocks. Frank Lloyd Wright was fascinated by innovative textures and building materials throughout his career, and this quartet of homes comprise a historic experiment in creative use of building materials.

The Ennis House is sometimes referred to as an example of “Mayan Revival” architecture. Bas-relief designs on the concrete blocks are patterned after symmetrical bas-relief sculptures in the ancient temple city of Uxmal in Mexico. The design also features an exterior gate made of wrought iron bent into a striking geometric pattern.

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Photo Credit: Christiesge.wix.com

The Ennis House faced significant setbacks during construction, mostly owing to its unusual makeup. Concrete blocks at the lower levels buckled under the weight above, causing unevenness and structural instability. The concrete was mixed with local granite in order to create a special color and texture. Unfortunately, this admixture created impurities in the final product, weakening the concrete blocks further.

Once construction reached the upper levels, Mabel and Charles Ennis took over, announcing several changes to the original design. Although these changes were intended to limit the structural instability and cost overruns of the building, they didn’t altogether succeed. Always vulnerable, the Ennis House was damaged during the Northridge Earthquake of 1994, suffering further damage during record rains in 2004 and 2005. With over fifteen million dollars in estimated repairs, the future of the Ennis House was uncertain. In 2005, the house was added to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of “11 Most Endangered Historic Places.”

In 2006, a FEMA grant was issued to begin restoration on the house, and more funds were made available by a construction loan through First Republic Bank. Reconstruction included a new structural support system and a new roof. In 2009, the Ennis House was placed on the market, eventually selling in 2011 to its current owner, billionaire Ron Burkle. A condition of the sale was that Ennis House be open to visitors twelve days each year.

To take a virtual tour of another iconic local home, click here to read our blog post about Silver Lake’s Chandelier Tree!

The Ennis House has inspired Hollywood for decades, beginning its cinematic career back in 1933 when it became a shooting location. Its unearthly façade has appeared in classics like The Haunting of Hill House, The Day of the Locust, and Blade Runner. Its interior, which reminds many visitors of a cathedral, has appeared in still more films, including The Replacement Killers and The Thirteenth Floor. Many filmmakers have used the Ennis House as an exotic setting – in Rush Hour, it was transformed into a penthouse apartment in a futuristic Hong Kong skyscraper.

Today, the Ennis House is a pilgrimage site for cinema buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike. If you’re planning to visit Los Angeles, why not plan a side trip to Los Feliz so you can pay tribute to this one-of-a-kind urban temple?

Are you interested in learning more about the Ennis House and other unique Los Angeles landmarks? At Real Estate Unlimited, we pride ourselves on our knowledge of local history and architecture. Call us to schedule a tour of Los Feliz or another unique Los Angeles neighborhood, and let us show you around these unique neighborhoods today!

Berendo Stairs to Griffith Observatory in Los Feliz

Looking for some adventure in Los Feliz? Try finding all of the hidden staircases in Los Angeles, starting with the Berendo Stairs that lead to the Griffith Observatory. Spending a day on a walk looking for a hidden staircase is a great opportunity to get some exercise and mix up your daily routine.

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Photo Credit: http://eat-n-explore.blogspot.com/2010/07/berendo-stairs-to-griffith-park.html

Los Feliz is a neighborhood in Los Angeles that covers approximately two and half square miles. It is bordered by the Santa Monica Mountains and Hollywood. It was originally Rancho Los Feliz, and it eventually became the birthplace of Mickey Mouse when Walt Disney drew the famous character in his uncle’s garage. Los Feliz is also the home to Disney’s first animation studio and many celebrities who live there. You can view two of Frank Lloyd Wright’s original designs in Los Feliz: the Ennis House and the Hollyhock House.

The entrance to the Berendo Stairs (created in 1924) is located at Berendo Street and Cromwell Avenue. The stairs are recognized by the city as having historical status. There is a resting stop at the midpoint of the stairs (there are 181 steps in total) where there are two benches to sit on. This is a beautiful and romantic spot in the summer, covered by bougainvillea flowers.

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Photo Credit: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/content/stairs-top

To get to the Griffith Observatory, make your way up the Berendo Stairs, go up a second set of stairs, and eventually you’ll come across a dirt path that will take you to the observatory. From the Griffith Observatory, you’ll be able to see the Hollywood Sign and Downtown L.A. Eat-n-Explore has some detailed directions here.

The Griffith Observatory, which opened in 1935 and was renovated in 2002, is named after Colonel Griffith J. Griffith. It covers about 3,000 acres of land and features an art deco interior and educational displays on astronomy. Admission to the observatory is free. You can also view the Ennis House from here, which was built in 1924 and was featured in the film Blade Runner.

If you haven’t done so already, spend some visiting Griffith Park. It covers about 4,000 acres, and it has a lot to offer for those with different activities and interests in mind. People go to the park to play tennis, hike the trails, use the equestrian trails, have picnics, ride the train, and go golfing. You can also see the Hollywood Sign from the park, visit the Los Angeles Zoo, and see the Autry National Center. The park is open between 5:00 pm and 10:30 pm.

Here are some other “secret” staircases to put on your list as you explore L.A.:

-Music Box Steps

-Baxter Stairways

-Santa Monica Stairs

-Beachwood Canyon Stairs (This one is 800 steps!)

Have fun exploring the stairs in Los Angeles!

Are you interested in learning more about neighborhoods in Los Angeles and what they have to offer? At Real Estate Unlimited, it is our goal to share our expertise on the historic neighborhoods in Los Angeles, including the diverse landmarks, and the surrounding businesses, shopping, and dining to take advantage of. Call us today for a consultation!

The Gamble House

The Gamble House is tucked neatly into the neighborhood sandwiched between the Arroyo Seco Park and Old Pasadena. The Gamble House is a testimony to both traditional American architecture and the fusion of cultures and ideals that have made Los Angeles such a unique city. Offering affordable tours Thursday through Sunday, the Gamble House offers a cultivated experience for those interested in architecture, Pasadena history, or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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Photo Credit: Martin Green

The Gamble house was designed as a pleasant winter residence for David and Mary Gamble. David Gamble was a second generation member of the Procter & Gamble Company, and was retired at the turn of the 20 century. After spending some years in retirement in the vicinity of Pasadena, the Gambles decided to build a permanent home. In 1908 the Gamble House’s lot was chosen on a the short, private street known as Westmoreland Place, purposefully avoiding South Orange Grove, aka “Millionaires Row.”

While selecting their lot, the Gambles met the architect John Cole and his coworkers from the Greene & Greene architectural firm. Impressed by their work, the Gambles solicited the architects to begin working closely with Greene & Greene to design their new home. The draft of the house was completed in February of 1908, and ten months later the home was complete. David and Mary Gamble moved into the house and lived there until their deaths in 1923 and 1928 respectively. The Gamble family continued to own the house until 1966, when the city of Pasadena, along with the University of Southern California School of Architecture, purchased the house and began its transformation into a testimony to American Architecture.
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Photo Credit: Deasey/Penner

The Gamble house blends a variety of wood, including teak, maple, oak, cedar, and mahogany into sequences seeking to reveal contrast in the home. All of the furniture, custom built and designed by the architects, matches the inlay and surroundings of the home. Although the home was not quite as daring as some of its architectural siblings, the home’s design has lasted the test of time, blending localized symmetrical spaces and forms to create an overall asymmetrical house. This mix of localized order in contrast to the greater disorder creates an unmistakable and unique style that belongs solely to the Gamble House.

If you’re a student of architecture, someone with a taste for history, or are simply looking to visit a magnificent home, check out the Gamble House’s guided tours!

Real Estate Unlimited is the one-stop-shop for your South Pasadena real estate needs, information about local historic locations, and the hotspots in the greater L.A. area.