After five decades of managing the Gamble House — crown jewel of Pasadena, international pilgrimage site for devotees of the Arts and Crafts style and point of pride for USC’s School of Architecture — the university is giving up oversight of the historic home to more local supporters.
The Pasadena City Council last week approved the transfer of operations from USC to the new Gamble House Conservancy, pending court approval, said Mayor Terry Tornek, who also serves on the Gamble House’s board of governors.
The move significantly alters the long relationship between the university and the house, built in 1909 and given to Pasadena in 1966 with the stipulation that USC manage its operations. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978.
Tornek said negotiations among the city, the Gamble family and USC have been “amicable.” Although the original agreement called for USC to manage the house for 99 years, Tornek said two volunteer organizations dedicated to preservation of the house — the Docent Council of the Gamble House, which runs tours, and the Friends of the Gamble House, which has been instrumental in fundraising — have proved their ability to preserve and operate the beloved landmark.
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