The Taj Mahal is said to be the most beautiful building in the world. Since I've never been, I give that title to the Gamble House, a masterpiece of Arts and Crafts architecture in Pasadena, Calif.
It has been called a "symphony in wood" and perhaps best illustrates the work of architects Charles and Henry Greene, who built homes in the Los Angeles area a century ago. They developed a distinct California style, incorporating natural elements and Japanese design.
Like Frank Lloyd Wright, they didn't just plan buildings, but spaces, including fixtures and furniture.
A collection of their works, many which were considered lost when they were sold or salvaged from Greene buildings, is now touring the country. It's at the Huntington library in Pasadena through Jan. 26. Then it moves to the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. (March 13 to June 7) and finally to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (July 14 to Oct. 18).
If you miss the exhibit, you can always get your fill of Arts and Crafts in Southern California. Not only can you tour houses, but you can stay the exquisitely designed Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla. Although built just a decade ago, it's true to the Greene brothers' style.
And even if you're only going as far as Anaheim, consider a stay at the Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland. Also new construction, it has been called the largest Arts and Crafts building in the world.
Photo: Gamble House,