Monday, May 12, 2014

The Gamble House Front Steps Rail

In August 2012 I visited the Gamble House in Pasadena, California and took a your of the home.  It is an outstanding example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture. The house and furnishings were designed by Charles and Henry Greene in 1908 for David and Mary Gamble of the Procter & Gamble Company. The house, a National Historic Landmark, is owned by the City of Pasadena and operated by the University of Southern California and is open for public tours  I thought it was a wonderful experience and on a par with some tours of work by Frank Lloyd Wright.  I highly recommend seeing the home if the opportunity arrises.

The front steps had a forged handrail which I found pleasing and fitting for the site.  I took some photos of the unusual design and joinery.

Later, after returning home I decided to see if I could find who forged the railing.  An image search for the Gamble House revealed that some renovation had been done in 2004 and I see the railing at that time was a single center-of-stairs run and appeared to me a “modern-ordinary” design and not the Arts and Crafts one I had seen.  More recent images showed the new rail.

I wrote and received this reply from Edward R. Bosley. “Thank you for your interest in The Gamble House and our hand forged railings. They were designed and made in 2008 by the late Bobby Sharpe, whose shop was in Oakland, California. He passed away in late 2011, sadly, at age 65. His railings replaced a single rail that previously ran up the center of the front steps, and was installed in the 1960s. Originally, there were no railings at all. I hope this is helpful.”

I did further investigation of Robert Sharpe and was able to see more examples of his interesting work.  It was a a rewarding adventure.  If you visit the Gallery page of Robert Sharpe you will find much better images of the Gamble House railing done by Sofia Sharpe.

A lengthwise view:

Green and Green Primer

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