She imagined, she designed and she built: Julia Morgan 2

Architecture & Design
Cali’s renowned female architect and her mansion by the sea for Marion Davies

All she did was to conceptualize, design and build Hearst Castle in San Simeon, as the West Coast corollary of Versailles. It wasn’t much. It took no time at all — 28 years. There on a high cliff overlooking the Pacific, in splendid isolation, her media-mogul client, William Randolph Hearst (the “Jeff Bezos” of his day), threw wild Hollywood parties over orgiastic weekends. Major difference: W.R. took no selfies!

That was a keystone project — and what a keystone — for Cali’s first licensed female architect who left a legacy of more than 700 projects over her five decades of practice.

You can learn all about Morgan and her work on March 5 at an on-site celebratory event for Julia Morgan (1872 – 1957) to take place at the architect’s iconic Annenberg Beach House, formerly a Santa Monica beach retreat for Hearst mistress Marion Davies (the “Lauren Sanchez” of her time). The property is replete with a fabulous swimming pool, miraculously it is extent and serving the community.

Heart Castle Neptune Pool at dusk

Posthumously awarded the AIA’s highest honor, a Gold Medal, her brilliant and pioneering work continues to gain public recognition.

Julia Morgan and friend

The celebration kicks off at 11 am with a presentation by Laura Sorvetti, Reference Archivist at Cal Poly’s Special Collections and Archives, on the materials and stories within the Julia Morgan collections at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Sorvetti will introduce the Morgan collections, share materials and describe projects that open the collection to a larger audience in the digital era. The Julia Morgan collections consist of architectural drawings, correspondence, photographs, family records and more.

Following Sorvetti’s presentation, the guest house and pool deck will be open for experiencing Morgan’s work first-hand.

Julia Morgan Legacy Event | Sunday Mar 3 | free but you must register

2 thoughts on “She imagined, she designed and she built: Julia Morgan

  1. marrilee shannon Dec 14,2021 12:23 pm

    Can anyone tell me who sponsored and planned this event? I work at on the reconstruction of the Julia Morgan North Star House in Grass Valley. 20 years ago it was scheduled to be burnt to the ground. A few community members took it upon themselves to save it. It is wonderful building, 10,000 sq.ft. mansion built in 1905. Those of us who volunteer here would have given anything to attend this event and would love to get in contact with the organizers.

  2. Kent Bulza Feb 17,2019 5:43 pm

    Recently attended a wedding at a lesser known Julia Morgan building: the former YWCA and now Riverside Art Museum. She designed several other YWCAs, some sadly lost, including another YWCA in Pasadena that is badly in need of a project to ensure it is not also lost by neglect. I’m hoping for something that keeps the building as intact as possible; we don’t need another juxtaposed reuse like LACMA that only sets the stage for our posterity to discount “the mish mash”, and lose everything.

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