There's nothing quite like going someplace new within a building you've seen and known and driven by and enjoyed your entire life.
It doesn't happen too often. Usually the public areas remain constant in a landmark and the private areas, well, stay off-limits.
But Pasadena's own Gamble House, that woodsy doyenne of Westmoreland Place, just off Orange Grove Boulevard, is changing it up with a very special specialty tour, indeed: The Upstairs Downstairs Tour.
Translation? For the first time ever, the servants' quarters in the Greene & Greene 1908 masterwork will go on view. This means you'll get to see the spaces occupied by those who worked for the home and its family a century ago, and you'll admire furniture designed just for those places. (Yep, that's the Gamble House; every last little thing fits together, tongue-in-groove, even the design and concept.)
Laundry sinks, a coal room, and other details that have never before been discussed or displayed to the public will be included.
Now, a word to the early birds: "Specialty" very often means "brevity," too, and such is the case with this tour. The Upstairs Downstairs Tour will only run from Aug. 1 through 18, which means that tickets will be gone, gone, gone well in advance.
The one-hour tour is twenty dollars.
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It's exciting for those people who've loved the Gamble House forever -- that's all SoCalers, right? -- and can't imagine seeing a fresh part of a place they've visited a dozen times.
And, of course, it's exciting that the house still stands, looking as woodsy and as historic as 1908 itself. What part of the house would you love to have as your own? The polished staircase railing? One of the lamps?
Us? We have to go sleeping porch. Is there any sleeping porch to rival the Gamble's? Sleeping porches of the world, we quite sure you're lovely but the premiere Craftsman landmark of the Crown City out-charms you all in this department. It's practically fact.