If you haven’t had the opportunity to see an authentic Greene & Greene-designed home up close, then a visit to The Lodge at Torrey Pines might be the next best thing. Taking its design cues from two of the Greenes’ most iconic “ultimate bungalows,” The Blacker House (1907) and The Gamble House (1908), both in Pasadena, the lodge is an impressive homage to the Arts & Crafts Movement, as well as the California Craftsman aesthetic for which the brothers Greene are universally known.
Located just north of the beach community of La Jolla, in San Diego County, the lodge overlooks a picturesque stretch of California coastline immediately adjacent to the legendary Torrey Pines Golf Course and just to the south of the nearby state park of the same name.
Designed by associate architect William Hughes of the firm Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo, the lodge opened in 2002. Former director and curator of The Gamble House, the late Randell Makinson, worked as a special supervisor on the project, ensuring that the lodge’s look and feel was architecturally consistent with historic Greene & Greene style.
While some details at the lodge were simply inspired by Greene & Greene, the hotel’s imposing porte-cochère (above) is nearly identical to the one at the Blacker House (below).
Intricate post-and-beam construction (highlighted below) welcomes guests as they arrive and is one of many captivating details that seem to transport you back to the early 1900′s.
Greene & Greene were known for using three-panel doors adorned with elaborate art glass in the entrances to many of the larger homes they designed. The entrance to the lodge’s main lobby is reminiscent of the doors at The Gamble House, Blacker House, and to a lesser extent, those at the Duncan-Irwin House. The original doors in those homes were designed by Greene collaborator, Emil Lange. Equally beautiful, the glass used in the doors, windows and some of the lighting at the lodge was designed by Judson Studios.
Depicting the rare native torrey pine, the glass in the front door shines just as brightly when looking back at it from inside the lobby entry (below). A small table is lit by a reproduction of the dining room light from The Robinson House in Pasadena (G&G, 1906).
With your back to the front door, the jaw-dropping lobby lies straight ahead (below). Soaring ceilings provide space for multiple five foot tall lighting fixtures modeled after the Pratt House in Ojai, California (G&G, 1909). Several intimate seating areas with reproduction G&G furniture are the perfect spot to take in the stunning coastal views.
The mood and scale of the lodge feels much more like a residence than a 170 room hotel.
There are multiple lounges and restaurants on-site, and the exposed post-and-beam architecture runs throughout the entire complex. Reproductions of the famous Blacker House basket lanterns (below left) hang from the ceiling in the dining room.
The lighting in the private dining room (below) is inspired by the multi-fixture chain lights in the dining room of the Duncan-Irwin House (G&G 1906-1908).
On the exterior, more features have been borrowed from the Gamble and Blacker Houses.
The exterior of the lobby (above left) was inspired by the rear of the Blacker House (below).
In another view of the exterior of the lobby (below), the similarities become more evident.
In another wing of the lodge (above), the balcony of one of the suites bears a striking resemblance to the sleeping porches at The Gamble House (below). Incidentally, about 50 yards to the right of that balcony above is the 18th hole of the of Torrey Pines South Golf Course. If you’re a fan of golf, you may remember that this is where Tiger Woods made an epic putt on the 72nd hole of regulation to push the 2008 US Open Championship to a playoff. Woods would go on to win the tournament by beating Rocco Mediate in a 19-hole playoff the following day. He has not won a major golf title since.
Another borrowed detail is the chimney from the Mary E. Cole House (below left). The two chimneys are very similar with the one at the lodge (below right) being slightly taller.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Henry and Charles Greene, along with their contractors, brothers John and Peter Hall should be blushing right now. The owners, designers and builders of The Lodge at Torrey Pines have done a magnificent job replicating many of the finer features found in Greene & Greene’s “ultimate bungalows.” For a taste of the experience of visiting the lodge, click on the video below:
The video takes you through all of the public areas of the lodge, as well as giving you a peak into some of the guest rooms and suites. The lobby, lounge and restaurant are all open to the public, so if you find yourself in the San Diego area sometime, you should definitely stop in and have a look around, or better yet, spend a weekend there…
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