215 – Greene & Greene Blacker House Chair

Video - March 3, 2014

BlackerHouseThe Blacker House was one of the Greene & Greene Ultimate Bungalows built back in 1907. The entire house, furniture included, cost about $100,000 US or $2.5M in today’s money. And because trivia is fun, did you know that the interior shots of Doc Brown’s house in Back to the Future were filmed inside the Blacker House? Exterior shots were of the Gamble House. Both are located in Pasadena, CA.

One of the most adored pieces to come out of the Blacker House is the living room chair. Many people have endeavored to re-create this chair and most put their own personal spin on it. One of my favorite variations comes from William Ng, owner of the William Ng School of Fine Woodworking. And it just so happens that William teaches a class on how to build his version of the chair, the only class of it’s kind. Since this project was on my personal bucket list, I took the opportunity to attend the class this past February and this video is the result of that effort.

Below on the left is William’s chair and on the right you can see the original, courtesy of Gamblehouse.org. William’s version conforms to modern standards for a dining room chair with a taller back and a comfortable seat height.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA blacker-house-original

If you’re interested in building this chair, William offers this class a couple times a year. You can look at the latest class offerings here. And if the chair doesn’t fit the bill, take a look at all of the other great classes offered at the William Ng School of Fine Woodworking.



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