Brothers Charles Sumner Greene (1868-1957) and Henry Mather Greene (1870-1954) were born in Brighton, Ohio. As teenagers, they moved to St. Louis with their parents and attended the Manual Training School of Washington University, studying woodworking, metalworking, and toolmaking. At their father’s urging, the Greene sons enrolled in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture. After studying classic styles of design, Henry earned a position with architect H. Langford Warren and Charles with Winslow and Wetherell, both in Massachusetts.
In 1893, the Greene sons followed their parents to Pasadena, California, stopping at Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition. Here, they were exposed to Japanese architecture, a style that would later heavily influence their designs. Once in California, Charles and Henry established the architecture firm of Greene and Greene. Specializing in the Arts and Crafts style, often incorporating Japanese design elements including the integration of indoor and outdoor spaces, they completed dozens of homes in Southern California, including their masterwork, the Gamble House, in Pasadena.