Southern California

Gamble House: $1 for 50th Anniversary Party

Enter one of the world's most beautiful Craftsman landmarks for one dollar.

Obviously, and truly, and without-argument-ly, Pasadena's exquisite Craftsman masterpiece, the Gamble House, has been around for longer than 50 years.

After all, Marty McFly traveled back to 1955 in that DeLorean, and he called upon Doc Brown at home, which, as every fan of "Back to the Future" knows, is the regal house at 4 Westmoreland Place.

Oh wait. Right, that's a movie, not real life, but it feels as though there should be some quirky time travel involved when a home that was constructed 108 years ago celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Here's the story, and it involves you, should you want to honor this magnificently woodsy, stained-glass-a-rific wonder and only pay a dollar to do so: The Gamble family, lo these 50 years ago, donated the grand domicile to the city of Pasadena and the University of Southern California.

The gift was beyond major, and it was a major boon to the architecture-loving public, for now they now longer had to solely admire it from the curb. They could (gasp) go inside.

While the official anniversary date was in January, the public party is on Sunday, Sept. 25 from noon to 4 o'clock. A single buck, as mentioned, gains you entry, and there are other happenings on the photo-perfect grounds, from soap carving to woodworking.

While advance tickets are no longer available, some walk-up tickets will be, so be sure to arrive early.


Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.

Pomona to launch universal income program

Freddie Freeman's two-out single in 8th inning lifts Dodgers past Royals 4-3 in series opener

Tune shall be played, if you simply want to lounge upon the Gamble House's lawn and pretend, for a moment, you lived there back when it first rose in the Rose City, the height of nature-inspired, strong-boned construction in an era that was still awash in somewhat fastidious Edwardian trends.

Well, those Edwardian homes, many of which still dot Southern California, are pretty phenomenal, but the Gamble House is unto itself, a superstar that's instantly recognizable, both from its star turn in a beloved '80s sci-fi flick and as a way to time travel back to the Pasadena of the early 20th century.

None of that could happen for we lookie-loos without the Gambles making that huge gift a half century ago.

Gratitude to them, to the organizers of the Sept. 25 event, and to all who keep this classic casa looking as lovely as when it first came into being, not 50 years ago, but well over a century back.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us