Extraordinary Estates - Atlas Obscura
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Pasadena, California

Extraordinary Estates

Explore two eccentric homes on 'Millionaire's Row' in Pasadena: the Gamble House & the Fenyes Mansion.

Pasadena’s Orange Grove Boulevard has long been known as “Millionaire's Row” for the lavish mansions that once lined the street. Join us for an in-depth tour of two famous estates that are still standing, the Gamble House & the Fenyes Mansion, including exclusive access to secret doors and the maids' quarters, usually closed to the public. 

Fenyes MansionThis home has enjoyed a remarkable life, having served as the Finnish Consulate from 1948-1964, and prominently appearing in films such as Being There and The Prestige. It is most well known now as the home of the Pasadena Museum of History, which manages the home and estate grounds. We'll get exclusive access to the upstairs bedrooms and sitting room, as well as the "maids' room," which has just been completed and is not currently available to the public. There is even a small, but incredible Museum of Finnish Folk Art on the grounds that will be included in the tour. 

The Gamble House: This beautiful Craftsman home is often referred to as “America’s Arts and Crafts masterpiece,” though many people now know it as Doc Brown’s home in the Back to the Future series of films. Designed in 1908 by architects Greene & Greene, the Gamble House is a stellar example of the craftsman style, which showcases Greene & Greene's signature style, fine attention to detail and superb craftsmanship.

The tour will include a full walkthrough of the home as well as the exclusive opportunity to see what’s behind some of the secret doors in the house. At the end of the tour, everyone will receive a colorful book highlighting the Arts & Crafts Architecture of the time. Afterward, everyone will be invited to explore the grounds at their own leisure, complete with outdoor patios, a garden, and a pond.  


  • Street parking near the Fenyes Mansion.
  • Both houses/estates are very old, along with the furniture and art. Please act in a respectful and careful manner.
  • Photography permitted inside and out, but no flash.
  • No touching anything inside either estate unless the docent says it's okay.
  • Please be sure to use the restroom before the tour begins. No public restrooms inside the houses. Restrooms can be found elsewhere on each property.
  • Be sure to wear comfy, flat shoes and comfy, breathable clothing. No heels or non-flat shoes allowed. 
  • Sunscreen and water are encouraged.
  • No water or food allowed inside either estate, but you can leave water by the door.
  • Expect to be standing/walking for most of the 3+ hour tour. 
  • The houses are not ADA wheelchair accessible.
  • The entire grounds of both properties will be open for exploring as well as the Finnish Folk Art museum!
  • Family friendly, ages 12+.


Email Benjamin Harmon at benjamin.harmon@atlasobscura.com.

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