Greene & Greene Virtual Archives
Charles S. Greene Studio
Carmel, California, 1923-24
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Charles S. Greene Studio
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

In 1923, Charles Greene began to build a studio for himself on the Lincoln Street side of his Carmel property. He made it as economically as possible by recycling bricks salvaged from the old Pacific Grove Hotel and by using free lumber from White Brothers Hardwood in San Francisco. Marble, left over from the D.L. James job, was used in the mantel and to pave a bath and small vestibule. Charles and his son, Patrickson, cleaned just enough of the old mortar off the bricks to create a dappled red-and-white effect that formed a Flemish bond pattern on the exterior walls. The studio is a simple rectangle with small subsidiary rooms off the east and south sides. The main living space is illuminated by a skylight on the north side of the pitched roof, and French doors open to a terrace and garden off the south end. The plaster interior is heavily decorated with motifs from nature. Charles hand-carved the small wood blocks used to press the images into the still-wet wall surfaces. Many other carvings that symbolized portions of Charles’ personal philosophy were created for the house. The “Law of Rhythmic Diminution,” as described by Claude Bragdon in his Theosophical text, The Beautiful Necessity, was represented by a wave form and spiral shell carvings and the theory of “Lower Space Systems in Our World” was represented by tomato vines carved into the entry door of the studio.