881. Julia Morgan Biography

Julia Morgan was a native Californian, born in San Francisco in 1872. At the age of twenty-four she moved to Paris with the dream of becoming an architect. Architect and Julia Morgan specialist Russell Quacchia. RUSSELL QUACCHIA: She was the first woman to be accepted into the Ecole des Beaux Arts, which was 250 years old at the time she entered. She was the first woman to graduate. NARRATOR: To become a woman architect in 1900 was no easy task! RUSSELL QUACCHIA: Times in which she lived and practiced architecture were not hospitable to her at all. I think she spent her life endeavoring to overcome that peculiar relationship with the times. NARRATOR: Morgan moved back to San Francisco in 1902 and worked for Galen Howard on the new building designs for the UC Berkeley campus. She set up her own architecture firm in 1904 after receiving her state license. Over the years, she practiced an eclectic architectural style. Her desire to please each individual client made all her projects unique. Her most well known design is the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. It looks nothing like the buildings here. Asilomar was perhaps the only project in Julia Morgan’s 49-year career where she had complete artistic freedom. In 1987, eleven of her original sixteen buildings at Asilomar were designated a National Historic Landmark.