Morgan, Julia, 1872-1957

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1872-01-20
Death 1957-02-02
Americans

Biographical notes:

Julia Morgan (1872-1957) graduated from University of California, Berkeley's Civil Engineering department in 1894, studying architecture unofficially under Bernard Maybeck. With Maybeck's encouragement, she went on to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1898, Morgan became the first woman to study at the Ecole, graduating in 1900. Morgan returned to San Francisco in 1902, opening her own office in 1905. She went on to design over 700 buildings, including many local residences.

From the description of Julia Morgan/Forney collection, 1907-1931 (bulk 1907-1917) (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 80219979

Julia Morgan (1872 - 1957) was born in San Francisco and raised across the bay in Oakland. She was encouraged by her mother's cousin to become an architect, so she enrolled in the undergraduate civil engineering program at U.C. Berkeley and upon graduation furthered her studies at L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Morgan became the first woman licensed as an architect in the state of California. Her ensuing practice lasted until 1951 and included many commissions for the Hearst family including the famed estate at San Simeon; numerous projects for the YWCA; and many private residences and buildings.

From the description of Julia Morgan-Sara Holmes Boutelle Collection, 1877-1958 1901-1940. (Palm Springs Public Library). WorldCat record id: 123571133

From the description of Julia Morgan Papers, 1835-1958 1896-1945. (Palm Springs Public Library). WorldCat record id: 123571126

Julia Morgan (1872-1957) graduated from University of California, Berkeley's Civil Engineering department in 1894, studying architecture unofficially under Bernard Maybeck. With Maybeck's encouragement, she went on to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. After passing the entrance examination in 1897, she was denied acceptance because the school did not want to encourage women. The next year, Morgan became the first woman to study at the Ecole, graduating in 1900. Morgan returned to San Francisco in 1902, opening her own office in 1905, just before the 1906 earthquake and fire. She went on to design over 700 buildings. Morgan designed many local residences, built for the YWCA and other women's associations, helped Maybeck design Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, and was continually commissioned by William Randolph Hearst, providing the most famous of Morgan's works, the La Cuesta Encantada, popularly known as the Hearst Castle in San Simeon.

From the description of Julia Morgan collection, 1893-1980 (bulk 1893-1940) (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 80856262

California architect.

From the description of Julia Morgan Collection, 1836-1980. (Palm Springs Public Library). WorldCat record id: 29927303

Biography

Julia Morgan, (1872-1957)

Julia Morgan was born in 1872 in Oakland, California, where she continued to live throughout her life. Immediately after Morgan's graduation from Oakland High School, she enrolled in the College of Civil Engineering at University of California, Berkeley, receiving her degree in 1894. While at Berkeley she was introduced to Bernard Maybeck, who was an instructor of drawing at the university, since at that time there was no school of architecture. Maybeck encouraged students interested in architecture to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the foremost architectural program at the time. After graduation Morgan worked briefly for Maybeck, and then traveled to Paris in 1896 intending to enroll in the Ecole.

In 1897, Morgan took the entrance examination for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, ranking 13th out of 392 competitors. Despite her score, she was denied admission because the school did not wish to encourage women in the field of architecture. The next year Morgan became the first woman to be admitted to the architecture school. She chose the atelier of Benjamin Chaussemiche, winner of the 1890 Prix de Rome and official architect for the City of Paris. Morgan excelled in her studies, becoming the first woman to receive a diploma in architecture in 1901. After graduation, she continued to work for Chaussemiche, designing the Harriet Fearing Residence in Fontainebleau.

In 1902 Morgan returned to the Bay Area and was employed by John Galen Howard, the University of California, Berkeley architect. While at his office, she worked on projects such as the Hearst Mining Building and the Greek Theater. In 1905 she opened her own office in the Merchants Exchange Building in San Francisco, however, the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires interrupted her practice. Morgan temporarily moved her practice to Oakland and formed a partnership with Ira Wilson Hoover, another draftsman in Howard's office. The new firm, "Morgan and Hoover" had several notable commissions during this period, including the Carnegie Library at Mills College, St. John's Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, and the structural renovation of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

In 1910 Hoover moved to New York, and the firm changed its name to "Julia Morgan, Architect." Although Morgan maintained her own practice, she often worked on joint projects with other architects and engineers. Morgan worked with Maybeck on the Hearst Gymnasium at University of California, Berkeley, and later, on Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. She also collaborated with engineer Walter Steilberg, even after he left her office.

Julia Morgan is well known for her residences, but she also designed numerous institutional buildings such as churches, schools, hospitals, university buildings, swimming pools and a series of YWCA buildings. She worked principally in California and the West. For distant projects, she often sent Edward Hussey, an architect in her office; to monitor projects and keep her updated on their progress.

Phoebe Apperson Hearst and her son William Randolph Hearst were responsible for a number of Morgan's commissions. Phoebe Hearst encouraged Morgan in her career, commissioned her to work, and was a great supporter until her death in 1919. One of Morgan's largest commissions was William Randolph Hearst's La Cuesta Encantada, popularly known as Hearst Castle, in San Simeon. In 1919 she began work on the lavish and enormous compound, a project which continued for nearly twenty years. Other designs for Hearst included a commercial building in San Francisco, Wyntoon in Siskiyou County, the San Francisco Medieval Museum, a residence for Marion Davies in Santa Monica, and the Babicora Hacienda in Mexico.

Morgan's projects were incredibly varied in style and materials. This diversity is usually attributed to her willingness to listen to clients' desires as well as her flexibility as an architect. Utilizing her Beaux-Arts training, Morgan began with logical and coherent plans and then added the exterior facades and ornament. Renaissance Revival, Tudor, Spanish Colonial, Mediterranean and Islamic styles were all part of her architectural vocabulary and were pieced together and overlapped with Craftsman elements as needed. Although the exact number of projects by Julia Morgan is unknown, over her career she is believed to have designed more than seven hundred buildings, most of which were constructed. She closed her office in 1951 at the age of seventy-nine. Morgan died February 2, 1957 at the age of eighty-five.

Sources: ___________. Julia Morgan of San Francisco, California, TMs [photocopy]. Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA Adams, Annmarie. Notes on the Julia Morgan Collection, 1985. TMs [photocopy]. Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA Boutelle, Sara H. Julia Morgan, Architect. Abbeville Publishers, New York, 1988. James, Cary. Julia Morgan. Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1990. Longstreth, Richard W. Julia Morgan, Architect. Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, Berkeley, 1977. Riess, Suzanne B. ed. The Julia Morgan Architectural History Project. Vol. 1 and 2 Bancroft Library Regional Oral History Office, Berkeley, 1976 .

From the guide to the Julia Morgan/Forney Collection, 1907-1931 (bulk 1907-1917), (Environmental Design Archives.)

Biographical Note

Julia Morgan was born in 1872 in Oakland, California where she continued to live throughout her life. Immediately after Morgan's graduation from Oakland High School, she enrolled in the College of Civil Engineering at University of California, Berkeley, receiving her degree in 1894. While at Berkeley she was introduced to Bernard Maybeck, who was an instructor of drawing at the university and taught architecture privately, since at that time there was no school of architecture. Maybeck encouraged students interested in architecture to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the foremost architectural program at the time. After graduation Morgan worked briefly for Maybeck, and then traveled to Paris in 1896 intending to enroll in the Ecole.

In 1897, Morgan took the entrance examination for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, ranking 13th out of 392 competitors. Despite her score, she was denied admission because the school did not wish to encourage women in the field of architecture. The next year Morgan became the first woman to be admitted to the architecture school. She chose the atelier of Benjamin Chaussemiche, winner of the 1890 Prix de Rome and official architect for the City of Paris. Morgan excelled in her studies, becoming the first woman to receive a diploma in architecture in 1901. After graduation, she continued to work for Chaussemiche, designing the Harriet Fearing Residence in Fontainebleau.

In 1902 Morgan returned to the Bay Area and was employed by John Galen Howard, the University of California, Berkeley architect. While at his office, she worked on projects such as the Hearst Mining Building and the Greek Theater. In 1905 she opened her own office in the Merchants Exchange Building in San Francisco, however, the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires interrupted her practice. Morgan temporarily moved her practice to Oakland and formed a partnership with Ira Wilson Hoover, another draftsman in Howard's office. The new firm, "Morgan and Hoover" had several notable commissions during this period, including the Carnegie Library at Mills College, St. John's Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, and the structural renovation of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

In 1910 Hoover moved to New York, and the firm changed its name to "Julia Morgan, Architect." Although Morgan maintained her own practice, she often worked on joint projects with other architects and engineers. Morgan worked with Maybeck on the Hearst Gymnasium at University of California, Berkeley, and later, on Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. She also collaborated with engineer Walter Steilberg, even after he left her office.

Julia Morgan is well known for her residences, but she also designed numerous institutional buildings such as churches, schools, hospitals, university buildings, swimming pools and a series of YWCA buildings. She worked principally in California and the West. For distant projects, she often sent Edward Hussey, an architect in her office; to monitor projects and keep her updated on their progress.

Phoebe Apperson Hearst and her son William Randolph Hearst were responsible for a number of Morgan's commissions. Phoebe Hearst encouraged Morgan in her career, commissioned her to work, and was a great supporter until her death in 1919. One of Morgan's largest commissions was William Randolph Hearst's La Cuesta Encantada, popularly known as Hearst Castle, in San Simeon. In 1919 she began work on the lavish and enormous compound, a project which continued for nearly twenty years. Other designs for Hearst included a commercial building in San Francisco, Wyntoon in Siskiyou County, the San Francisco Medieval Museum, a residence for Marion Davies in Santa Monica, and the Babicora Hacienda in Mexico.

Morgan's projects were incredibly varied in style and materials. This diversity is usually attributed to her willingness to listen to clients' desires as well as her flexibility as an architect. Utilizing her Beaux-Arts training, Morgan began with logical and coherent plans and then added the exterior facades and ornament. Renaissance Revival, Tudor, Spanish Colonial, Mediterranean and Islamic styles were all part of her architectural vocabulary and were pieced together and overlapped with Craftsman elements as needed. Although the exact number of projects by Julia Morgan is unknown, over her career she is believed to have designed more than seven hundred buildings, most of which were constructed. She closed her office in 1951 at the age of seventy-nine. Morgan died February 2, 1957 at the age of eighty-five.

Sources: Boutelle, Sara H. Julia Morgan, Architect. Abbeville Publishers, New York, 1988. James, Cary. Julia Morgan. Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1990. Longstreth, Richard W. Julia Morgan, Architect. Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, Berkeley, 1977. ___________. Julia Morgan of San Francisco, California, [photocopy]. available at clippings file, Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA Adams, Annmarie. Notes on the Julia Morgan Collection, 1985. TMs [photocopy]. available at clippings file, Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA Riess, Suzanne B. ed. The Julia Morgan Architectural History Project. Vol. 1 and 2. available at The Bancroft Library, Bancroft Library Regional Oral History Office, Berkeley, 1976 .

From the guide to the Julia Morgan Architectural Drawings, 1907-1929, (The Bancroft Library.)

Biographical Note

Julia Morgan was born in 1872 in Oakland, California where she continued to live throughout her life. Immediately after Morgan's graduation from Oakland High School, she enrolled in the College of Civil Engineering at University of California, Berkeley, receiving her degree in 1894. While at Berkeley she was introduced to Bernard Maybeck, who was an instructor of drawing at the university and taught architecture privately, since at that time the school of architecture did not exist. Maybeck encouraged students interested in architecture to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the foremost architectural program at the time. After graduation Morgan worked briefly for Maybeck, and then traveled to Paris in 1896 intending to enroll in the Ecole.

In 1897, Morgan took the entrance examination for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, ranking 13th out of 392 competitors. Despite her score, she was denied admission because the school did not wish to encourage women in the field of architecture. The next year Morgan became the first woman to be admitted to the architecture school. She chose the atelier of Benjamin Chaussemiche, winner of the 1890 Prix de Rome and official architect for the City of Paris. Morgan excelled in her studies, becoming the first woman to receive a diploma in architecture in 1901. After graduation, she continued to work for Chaussemiche, designing the Harriet Fearing Residence in Fontainebleau.

In 1902 Morgan returned to the Bay Area and was employed by John Galen Howard, the University of California, Berkeley architect. While in his office, she worked on projects such as the Hearst Mining Building and the Greek Theater. In 1905 she opened her own office in the Merchants Exchange Building in San Francisco, however, the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires interrupted her practice. Morgan temporarily moved her practice to Oakland and formed a partnership with Ira Wilson Hoover, another draftsman from Howard's office. The new firm, "Morgan and Hoover" had several notable commissions during this period, including the Carnegie Library at Mills College, St. John's Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, and the structural renovation of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

In 1910 Hoover moved to New York, and the firm changed its name to "Julia Morgan, Architect." Although Morgan maintained her own practice, she often worked on joint projects with other architects and engineers. Morgan worked with Maybeck on the Hearst Gymnasium at University of California, Berkeley, and later, on Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. She also collaborated with engineer Walter Steilberg, even after he left her office.

Julia Morgan is well known for her residences, but she designed numerous institutional buildings such as churches, schools, hospitals, university buildings, swimming pools and a series of YWCA buildings, all principally in California and the West. For distant projects, she often sent Edward Hussey, an architect in her office, to manage the projects and prepare reports for the office.

Phoebe Apperson Hearst and her son William Randolph Hearst were responsible for a number of Morgan's commissions. Phoebe Hearst encouraged Morgan in her career, commissioned her work, and was a great supporter until her death in 1919. One of Morgan's largest commissions was William Randolph Hearst's La Cuesta Encantada, popularly known as Hearst Castle, in San Simeon. In 1919 she began work on the lavish and enormous compound, a project which continued for nearly twenty years. Other designs for Hearst included a commercial building in San Francisco, Wyntoon estate in Siskiyou County, the San Francisco Medieval Museum, a residence for Marion Davies in Santa Monica, and the Babicora Hacienda in Mexico.

Morgan's projects were incredibly varied in style and materials. This diversity is usually attributed to her willingness to listen to clients' desires as well as her flexibility as an architect. Utilizing her Beaux-Arts training, Morgan began with logical and coherent plans and then added the exterior facades and ornament. Renaissance Revival, Tudor, Spanish Colonial, Mediterranean and Islamic styles were all part of her architectural vocabulary and were pieced together and overlapped with Craftsman elements as needed. Although the exact number of projects by Julia Morgan is unknown, over her career she is believed to have designed more than seven hundred buildings, most of which were constructed. She closed her office in 1951 at the age of seventy-nine. Morgan died February 2, 1957 at the age of eighty-five.

Sources: Boutelle, Sara H. Julia Morgan, Architect. Abbeville Publishers, New York, 1988. James, Cary. Julia Morgan. Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1990. Longstreth, Richard W. Julia Morgan, Architect. Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, Berkeley, 1977. ___________. Julia Morgan of San Francisco, California, [photocopy]. available at clippings file, Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA Adams, Annmarie. Notes on the Julia Morgan Collection, 1985. TMs [photocopy]. available at clippings file, Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA Riess, Suzanne B. ed. The Julia Morgan Architectural History Project. Vol. 1 and 2. available at The Bancroft Library, Bancroft Library Regional Oral History Office, Berkeley, 1976 .

From the guide to the Julia Morgan Records at the University of California Berkeley, 1893-1988 (bulk 1901-1940), (Environmental Design Archives The Bancroft Library The Bancroft Library, University Archives)

Biography

Julia Morgan, (1872-1957)

Julia Morgan was born in 1872 in Oakland, California, where she continued to live throughout her life. Immediately after Morgan's graduation from Oakland High School, she enrolled in the College of Civil Engineering at University of California, Berkeley, receiving her degree in 1894. While at Berkeley she was introduced to Bernard Maybeck, who was an instructor of drawing at the university, since at that time there was no school of architecture. Maybeck encouraged students interested in architecture to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the foremost architectural program at the time. After graduation Morgan worked briefly for Maybeck, and then traveled to Paris in 1896 intending to enroll in the Ecole.

In 1897, Morgan took the entrance examination for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, ranking 13th out of 392 competitors. Despite her score, she was denied admission because the school did not wish to encourage women in the field of architecture. The next year Morgan became the first woman to be admitted to the architecture school. She chose the atelier of Benjamin Chaussemiche, winner of the 1890 Prix de Rome and official architect for the City of Paris. Morgan excelled in her studies, becoming the first woman to receive a diploma in architecture in 1901. After graduation, she continued to work for Chaussemiche, designing the Harriet Fearing Residence in Fontainebleau.

In 1902 Morgan returned to the Bay Area and was employed by John Galen Howard, the University of California, Berkeley architect. While at his office, she worked on projects such as the Hearst Mining Building and the Greek Theater. In 1905 she opened her own office in the Merchants Exchange Building in San Francisco, however, the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires interrupted her practice. Morgan temporarily moved her practice to Oakland and formed a partnership with Ira Wilson Hoover, another draftsman in Howard's office. The new firm, "Morgan and Hoover" had several notable commissions during this period, including the Carnegie Library at Mills College, St. John's Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, and the structural renovation of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

In 1910 Hoover moved to New York, and the firm changed its name to "Julia Morgan, Architect." Although Morgan maintained her own practice, she often worked on joint projects with other architects and engineers. Morgan worked with Maybeck on the Hearst Gymnasium at University of California, Berkeley, and later, on Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. She also collaborated with engineer Walter Steilberg, even after he left her office.

Julia Morgan is well known for her residences, but she also designed numerous institutional buildings such as churches, schools, hospitals, university buildings, swimming pools and a series of YWCA buildings. She worked principally in California and the West. For distant projects, she often sent Edward Hussey, an architect in her office; to monitor projects and keep her updated on their progress.

Phoebe Apperson Hearst and her son William Randolph Hearst were responsible for a number of Morgan's commissions. Phoebe Hearst encouraged Morgan in her career, commissioned her to work, and was a great supporter until her death in 1919. One of Morgan's largest commissions was William Randolph Hearst's La Cuesta Encantada, popularly known as Hearst Castle, in San Simeon. In 1919 she began work on the lavish and enormous compound, a project which continued for nearly twenty years. Other designs for Hearst included a commercial building in San Francisco, the Wyntoon estate in Siskiyou County, the San Francisco Medieval Museum, a residence for Marion Davies in Santa Monica, and the Babicora Hacienda in Mexico.

Morgan's projects were incredibly varied in style and materials. This diversity is usually attributed to her willingness to listen to clients' desires as well as her flexibility as an architect. Utilizing her Beaux-Arts training, Morgan began with logical and coherent plans and then added the exterior facades and ornament. Renaissance Revival, Tudor, Spanish Colonial, Mediterranean and Islamic styles were all part of her architectural vocabulary and were pieced together and overlapped with Craftsman elements as needed. Although the exact number of projects by Julia Morgan is unknown, over her career she is believed to have designed more than seven hundred buildings, most of which were constructed. She closed her office in 1951 at the age of seventy-nine. Morgan died February 2, 1957 at the age of eighty-five.

Sources: ___________. Julia Morgan of San Francisco, California, TMs [photocopy]. Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA Adams, Annmarie. Notes on the Julia Morgan Collection, 1985. TMs [photocopy]. Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA Boutelle, Sara H. Julia Morgan, Architect. Abbeville Publishers, New York, 1988. James, Cary. Julia Morgan. Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1990. Longstreth, Richard W. Julia Morgan, Architect. Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, Berkeley, 1977. Riess, Suzanne B. ed. The Julia Morgan Architectural History Project. Vol. 1 and 2 Bancroft Library Regional Oral History Office, Berkeley, 1976 .

From the guide to the Julia Morgan Collection, 1893-1980, (bulk 1893-1940), (Environmental Design Archives.)

Biographical Note

Born in San Francisco, Julia Morgan (1872-1957) grew up in Oakland in a spacious Victorian house. Gifted in mathematics and encouraged in her studies by her mother, Morgan was influenced to become an architect by her mother's cousin, Pierre Le Brun, who designed an early skyscraper, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower in Manhattan. In 1890, she enrolled in the undergraduate civil engineering program at the University of California at Berkeley, in part because there were no architectural schools on the West coast at that time. After graduation, Berkeley instructor and architect Bernard Maybeck recommended further study at his alma mater, L'École des Beaux-Arts, where the curriculum was renowned for the scope and majesty of its assignments: apartment suites in palaces, art galleries, opera houses, and other opulent environments fit for lavish, if imaginary, clients. Once in Paris, Morgan failed the entrance exam twice. Morgan then learned that the faculty had failed her deliberately to discourage her admission. Eventually the faculty relented and Morgan went on to win medals for her work in mathematics, architecture, and design. She traveled throughout Europe in her free time, filling sketchbook after sketchbook with accomplished watercolors, pastels, and line drawings. In 1902, Morgan was certified by the Beaux-Arts in architecture.

Returning to California upon graduation, Morgan became the first woman licensed as an architect in California, working first for John Galen Howard on several significant University of California buildings as part of the campus master plan bankrolled by philanthropist Phoebe Apperson Hearst.

In 1904, Morgan opened her own office in San Francisco. One of her first commissions, a campanile for the Oakland campus of Mills College, withstood the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, bringing her local acclaim and new commissions, including rebuilding the earthquake-damaged Fairmont Hotel. From this point Morgan's career was assured, and her practice thrived.

Morgan designed her first YWCA building in Oakland in 1912. The next year, Morgan began work on the first of 13 buildings in the Arts and Crafts style for Asilomar, the seaside YWCA retreat near Monterey. Host to thousands of visitors since its founding in 1913, Asilomar is now a state historical park and conference center. Morgan eventually designed 28 unique YWCA buildings in fifteen cities in California, Utah and Hawaii.

Publisher William Randolph Hearst first retained Morgan in 1910 for a residence in Sausalito, but it was never built. In 1915, she completed a notable Mission Revival building for the Los Angeles Examiner, Hearst's flagship newspaper. Hearst was so delighted by the structure that he commissioned Morgan to design his legendary estate at San Simeon, situated on a crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains of central California. Known today as Hearst Castle, the estate is now a state historical monument that has attracted more than 35 million visitors since it opened to the public in 1958.

Morgan's classical Beaux-Arts training, joined with her engineering degree and expertise with reinforced concrete, made her the ideal architect for this commission, which absorbed both architect and client from 1919 to 1947. Morgan designed the main building (Casa Grande), and guesthouses (A, B, and "C" Houses), workers' housing, grounds and terraces, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, zoo and aviary, poultry ranch, greenhouses, warehouses, animal shelters, a five-mile pergola, and a seaside village for the estate's supervisors.

In 1930, Hearst commissioned Morgan to build a Bavarian village on the McCloud River at Wyntoon, his northern California estate, to replace his mother's Maybeck-designed castle that had recently been destroyed by fire. Other Hearst commissions documented in the collections include the unbuilt hacienda at Babicora, his million-acre ranch in Mexico; the unbuilt "Hopi" residence and unrealized plans for a hotel at the Grand Canyon; and the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Memorial Women's Gymnasium at UC Berkeley. Morgan also supervised the alterations of Marion Davies' vast beach house in Santa Monica.

Through art dealers Arthur and Mildred Stapely Byne, Hearst purchased a thirteenth-century Spanish monastery in 1931. Santa Maria de Ovila was dismantled and shipped to San Francisco, where Morgan and Hearst contemplated its use at Wyntoon. When the plans were dropped for lack of funds, Morgan convinced Hearst to give the stones to the city of San Francisco for a medieval museum to rival Manhattan's Cloisters. Morgan contributed additional plans and by 1941, the city had selected a site in Golden Gate Park. After a series of arson fires at the warehouses obliterated the markings on the stones, the city lost enthusiasm for the project. This last great collaboration between Morgan and Hearst was never realized.

Historian Elinor Richey wrote, "Morgan's work was outstanding not only for its thoroughness, diversity, and volume … but also for its stylistic innovation and influence. Her early redwood shingle houses contributed to the emergence of the Bay Area shingle style. She was also a decade ahead of most of her contemporaries in using structure as a means of architectural expression. Unlike the work of most San Francisco architects of her time, Morgan's was reflective of that being done outside the Bay area." (Richey, Eminent Women of the West, p. 501)

Despite shortages of building materials and skilled labor, Morgan remained active professionally through World War II. In 1951, she closed her San Francisco office and retired. After several years of poor health, Julia Morgan died in San Francisco in 1957 at the age of 85.

From the guide to the Julia Morgan Papers, 1835-1958 (bulk 1896-1945), (Special Collections, Robert E. Kennedy Library)

Biographical Note

Born in San Francisco, Julia Morgan (1872-1957) grew up in Oakland in a spacious Victorian house. Gifted in mathematics and encouraged in her studies by her mother, Morgan was influenced to become an architect by her mother's cousin, Pierre Le Brun, who designed an early skyscraper, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower in Manhattan. In 1890, she enrolled in the undergraduate civil engineering program at the University of California at Berkeley, in part because there were no architectural schools on the West coast at that time. After graduation, Berkeley instructor and architect Bernard Maybeck recommended further study at his alma mater, L'École des Beaux-Arts, where the curriculum was renowned for the scope and majesty of its assignments: apartment suites in palaces, art galleries, opera houses, and other opulent environments fit for lavish, if imaginary, clients. Once in Paris, Morgan failed the entrance exam twice. Morgan then learned that the faculty had failed her deliberately to discourage her admission. Eventually the faculty relented and Morgan went on to win medals for her work in mathematics, architecture, and design. She traveled throughout Europe in her free time, filling sketchbook after sketchbook with accomplished watercolors, pastels, and line drawings. In 1902, Morgan was certified by the Beaux-Arts in architecture.

Returning to California upon graduation, Morgan became the first woman licensed as an architect in California, working first for John Galen Howard on several significant University of California buildings as part of the campus master plan bankrolled by philanthropist Phoebe Apperson Hearst.

In 1904, Morgan opened her own office in San Francisco. One of her first commissions, a campanile for the Oakland campus of Mills College, withstood the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, bringing her local acclaim and new commissions, including rebuilding the earthquake-damaged Fairmont Hotel. From this point Morgan's career was assured, and her practice thrived.

Morgan designed her first YWCA building in Oakland in 1912. The next year, Morgan began work on the first of 13 buildings in the Arts and Crafts style for Asilomar, the seaside YWCA retreat near Monterey. Host to thousands of visitors since its founding in 1913, Asilomar is now a state historical park and conference center. Morgan eventually designed 28 unique YWCA buildings in fifteen cities in California, Utah and Hawaii.

Publisher William Randolph Hearst first retained Morgan in 1910 for a residence in Sausalito, but it was never built. In 1915, she completed a notable Mission Revival building for the Los Angeles Examiner, Hearst's flagship newspaper. Hearst was so delighted by the structure that he commissioned Morgan to design his legendary estate at San Simeon, situated on a crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains of central California. Known today as Hearst Castle, the estate is now a state historical monument that has attracted more than 35 million visitors since it opened to the public in 1958.

Morgan's classical Beaux-Arts training, joined with her engineering degree and expertise with reinforced concrete, made her the ideal architect for this commission, which absorbed both architect and client from 1919 to 1947. Morgan designed the main building (Casa Grande), and guesthouses ("A" "B" and "C" Houses), workers' housing, grounds and terraces, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, zoo and aviary, poultry ranch, greenhouses, warehouses, animal shelters, a five-mile pergola, and a seaside village for the estate's supervisors.

Historian Elinor Richey wrote, "Morgan's work was outstanding not only for its thoroughness, diversity, and volume … but also for its stylistic innovation and influence. Her early redwood shingle houses contributed to the emergence of the Bay Area shingle style. She was also a decade ahead of most of her contemporaries in using structure as a means of architectural expression. Unlike the work of most San Francisco architects of her time, Morgan's was reflective of that being done outside the Bay area." (Richey, Eminent Women of the West, p. 501)

Despite shortages of building materials and skilled labor, Morgan remained active professionally through World War II. In 1951, she closed her San Francisco office and retired. After several years of poor health, Julia Morgan died in San Francisco in 1957 at the age of 85.

From the guide to the Julia Morgan-Sara Holmes Boutelle Collection, 1877-1958 (bulk 1901-1940), (Special Collections, Robert E. Kennedy Library)

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Subjects:

  • Collectors and collecting--United States--History
  • Hearst, William Randolph, 1863-1951--Correspondence
  • Piedmont (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc
  • Pacific Grove (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc
  • Publishers and publishing--Correspondence
  • Architecture--California
  • Morgan, Julia, 1872-1957
  • San Simeon (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc
  • Hearst, William Randolph, 1863-1951--Homes and haunts
  • Steilberg, Walter T., 1886-1974
  • Young Women's Christian associations--History
  • Panama--Pacific International Exposition (1915 : San Francisco, Calif.)
  • Collectors and collecting--History
  • Young Women's Christian associations--United States--History
  • Hearst, Phoebe Apperson, 1842-1919--Homes and haunts
  • Architecture, Modern--20th century
  • Architects
  • Architecture, Domestic
  • Hearst--San Simeon State Historical Monument (Calif.)
  • Asilomar Conference Grounds (Pacific Grove, Calif.)
  • Architecture, Domestic--California--San Simeon
  • Honolulu (Hawaii)--Buildings, structures, etc
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc
  • Jolon (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc
  • Architects--California
  • Oakland (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc
  • Arts and crafts movement--History--20th century
  • Wyntoon (Calif. : Estate)--History
  • Buildings
  • Architects--Travel
  • Architecture
  • Women architects
  • Architecture, Domestic--California--San Francisco Bay Area
  • École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts
  • Regionalism in architecture--California--San Francisco Bay Area
  • San Francisco (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc
  • Regionalism in architecture
  • Hearst Castle (Calif.)--History
  • Berkeley (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc
  • Architects--California--Correspondence
  • Arts and crafts movement--California--San Francisco Bay Area--History--20th century
  • Morgan, Julia, 1872-1957--Career in Architecture
  • Morgan, Julia, 1872-1957--Archives
  • Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A
  • San Simeon Ranch (Calif.)--History
  • Architects--Correspondence

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not available for this record

Places:

  • California (as recorded)
  • California (as recorded)
  • Jolon (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Jolon (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Piedmont (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • California (as recorded)
  • California--San Simeon (as recorded)
  • Paris (France) (as recorded)
  • Oakland (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • California--Piedmont (as recorded)
  • California--San Francisco Bay Area (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Alameda (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Piedmont (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Berkeley (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Pacific Grove (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Asilomar Conference Grounds (Pacific Grove, Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Hearst-San Simeon State Historical Monument (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • San Simeon (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Berkeley (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • San Simeon Ranch (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • California--San Simeon (as recorded)
  • San Francisco (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Honolulu (Hawaii) (as recorded)
  • California (as recorded)
  • Hearst-San Simeon State Historical Monument (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • McCloud (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Pacific Grove (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • California--Oakland (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • San Francisco Bay Area (as recorded)
  • Asilomar Conference Grounds (Pacific Grove, Calif.) (as recorded)
  • San Simeon Ranch (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • California--San Simeon (as recorded)
  • San Simeon (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • California--San Francisco Bay Area (as recorded)
  • California--San Francisco Bay Area (as recorded)
  • Berkeley (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • San Francisco (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Pacific Grove (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • San Simeon (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • San Francisco (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Oakland (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Piedmont (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Piedmont (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Honolulu (Hawaii) (as recorded)
  • Hearst-San Simeon State Historical Monument (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Berkeley (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Wyntoon (Calif. : Estate) (as recorded)
  • California (as recorded)
  • San Francisco Bay Area (as recorded)
  • California (as recorded)
  • Honolulu (Hawaii) (as recorded)
  • California--Berkeley (as recorded)
  • Oakland (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • California--San Francisco Bay Area (as recorded)
  • Wyntoon (Calif. : Estate) (as recorded)
  • Oakland (Calif.) (as recorded)