Talk:Gamble House (Pasadena, California)

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Retirement/Winter residence[edit]

An unregistered user recently insisted that the house was built was a winter residence, not a retirement residence. The official website says:

  • David Berry Gamble, a second generation member of the Procter and Gamble Company in Cincinnati, had retired from ’ Row.”

They were retired, they came in the winter. They apparently lived in the house full-time, so it might not have been a winter home. -Will Beback 21:12, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

It was used 4 months out the year. I work at the Gamble House and the term WINTER RESIDENCE is better wording. David and Mary arrived Pasadena each year about Christmas time and left about Easter time. During the other months the house was shut up and the family had homes on Lake Michigan and in Ohio. A retirement home suggests that they lived in the house all year. Maybe the better wording is a Winter Retirement home??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Happydazed (talkcontribs)
The NRHP Inventory-Nomination document for the site states that it was built to be a SUMMER residence. I just added a link to that document as a reference to the article. doncram 19:27, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Hyperbole?[edit]

Is it just me, or does this article read a bit breathless? -- "singing off key," "playing together like musicians" I hesitate to edit it myself because I don't know much about the topic, but it did strike me as a bit over the top. E. Ripley 14:26, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I'd say it's mostly just you. Aside from the two rather overwrought metaphors you cite, the style of the article seems to me well suited to both the subject and to an encyclopedia. In fact, insofar as it fails to maintain "...the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article," I'd be inclined to see that as more a virtue than a fault. And, among the endless horrors of style with which Wikipedia abounds (go take a look at Culture of California if you want to see something deserving of being slapped with a critical banner), a bit of literary flamboyance such as this article displays is notable only for its relatively benign effect on the whole project. Almost any WP article you could pick at random commits worse offenses. Leave this one be. Whyaduck 13:48, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't agree that it is mostly just User:E. Ripley. This thing sounds like a joke: "wood that looks lovingly rubbed", "mahogany surfaces are placed in rhythmic sequences", "exposed like an interlocking puzzle". This sort of subjective writing does not belong in Wikipedia. It needs a serious overhaul to remove the flourishes. Mike Dillon 15:04, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
P.S. The Culture of California article was just unilaterally rewritten on November 30, 2006. It did not used to have the current issues (although the old version had its own problems because it still read like a broken-off section); see the old version. Mike Dillon 15:20, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, "lovingly rubbed" is certainly a subjective phrase (and a terribly minor offense to encyclopedic sensibilities, in my subjective view), but the other two phrases you cite are not subjective at all. The woodwork in the house is indeed, in fact, in objectively observable reality, "placed in rhythmic sequences" and "exposed like an interlocking puzzle." I see nothing at all wrong with that language. It's good, concrete descriptive language. But you're right if you contend that it just doesn't sound like Wikipedia. Indeed it doesn't. Whyaduck 15:36, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
"Rhythmic sequences" is not concrete language except when referring to rhythm. Woodwork does not have "rhythm" since it is not a sound. I'm not sure why you oppose stylistic consistency in Wikipedia. Mike Dillon 15:47, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
How about "Gamble House is a residential ark"? How is that appropriate for an encyclopedia? Mike Dillon 15:50, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Heh. You mean why do I hate America? ;D I don't. I just love Metaphor more. Whyaduck 15:55, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

The article states:

"Although there is no variation in ceiling height,..."

This isn't true. The smallest room on the ground floor is Mr. Gamble's den, and has a higher ceiling than the other rooms on the first floor. This makes the small den feel a little bigger. Because there is less material between the ceiling of the den and the floor of the boy's bedroom above, you might imagine that Mr. Gamble, sitting at his desk, could hear if his two sons were horsing around upstairs. (The boys bedroom is directly above the den)

Ceiling height on the ground floor is 8'10", except for the den, which is 9'10". Ceiling height on the second floor is 8'8", to give the family quarters a more intimate feeling. Ceiling height in the attic varies, as it is under a pitched roof.

tondelayo 15:03, 24 February 2008


"One of the big wooden panels along the solid wall is actually a secret door that leads to the kitchen"

The door wasn't a secret, it was used regularly. It would be more accurate to call it a hidden door.


Remuller 20:35, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Attempted Fix[edit]

Attempted to remove some of the hyperbole and subjective comments. I also discovered that the last paragraph was copied directly from the official site of the Gamble House. I didn't know how to fix it so I left it, if it's still here in a couple of weeks I'll try to do something with it. Kivaan 20:41, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Suggestion: use some explicit quotes from the "official site", use some explicit quotes from the NRHP Inventory-Nomination document for the property (which I just added link to, within references). Explicit quotes can carry sensuous quality of language that is desired by some, yet be objectively sourced. doncram 19:30, 18 October 2007 (UTC)