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Female, US, born 1872-01-20, died 1957-02-02

Associated with the firms network

Morgan and Hoover, Architects; Morgan, Julia H., Architect


Professional History

Résumé

Architectural historian Sara Holmes Boutelle has called Morgan the most prolific pioneer woman architect in the U.S., designing over 800 buildings during her 50-year career. Boutelle also indicated that she was probably the first woman to be architecturally licensed in CA. She received California Architect Certificate B-344-1903. (See Sara Holmes Boutelle, "Julia Morgan," in Women in American Architecture: A Historic and Contemporary Perspective, [New York, NY: 1977], p.80, 211.)

Draftswoman, John Galen Howard, Architect, San Francisco, CA, 1901-1903. Morgan became Registered Architect #344 in the State of California.

Principal, Julia Morgan, Architect, San Francisco, CA, 1904-1907. Her office was destroyed in the San Francisco Earthquake of 04/18/1906.

Partner, Morgan and Hoover, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1907-late 1910.

Principal, Julia Morgan, Architect, San Francisco, CA, late 1910-1951. In 1945, Julia Morgan's office was located at 465 California Street in San Francisco. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1945, p. 1961.)

Professional Activities

Registered Architect in the State of California, 1904. Morgan was the first female registered architect.

Morgan, who was very retiring and publicity-shy, did join the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1921.

Professional Awards

Recipient (posthumously), AIA, National Organization, Gold Medal, Washington, DC, 2014. Established in 1907, the AIA Gold was this professional organization's highest award, Morgan was the first woman to receive it.

Archives

Some of Morgan's papers were destroyed by the architect. Others are held in the Julia Morgan-Sara Holmes Boutelle Collection, California Polytechnic State University, Robert E. Kennedy Library, Special Collections Department, Manuscript Collection 027; Camille Solon Collection, California Polytechnic State University, Robert E. Kennedy Library, Special Collections Department, Manuscript Collection 106; Julia Morgan Papers: Series 9.A, Earl and Wright, Consulting Engineers, California Polytechnic State University, Robert E. Kennedy Library, Special Collections Department, Manuscript Collection 125; Sara Holmes Boutelle Papers California Polytechnic State University, Robert E. Kennedy Library, Special Collections Department, Manuscript Collection 141.

The University of California, Berkeley, (UCB), College of Envirinmental Design Archives has preserved the Julia Morgan Collection, 1893-1980, (bulk 1893-1940).

Education

High School/College

Dipl., Oakland High School, Oakland, CA, 1890.

B.S. Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Berkeley, CA, 1894. The University of California Blue and Gold Yearbook, 1892, (p. 57), indicated that Morgan was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity as a freshman. Kappa Alpha Theta was the first fraternity for women, formed at Indiana Asbury University (later renamed DePauw University) in 1870. The Omega Chapter at UCB was formed in 1890. The UCB yearbook (p. 35) also indicated that she studied mechanical engineering in her freshman year (1892).

The State of California's Hearst Castle website noted the role tplayed by the Berkeley architect Bernard Maybeck (1862-1957), an École graduate, of prompting Morgan to apply to the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, France's most prestigious school of architecture, which at the time attracted students from around the world: "At Berkeley one of her instructors, Bernard Maybeck, encouraged her to pursue her architectural studies in Paris at École des Beaux-Arts."

Study, Atelier de Marcel Pérouse de Monclos, Paris, France, 1896-1898. Marcel Pérouse de Monclos (born 03/18/1864 in Roussillon, France), who graduated from the École on 12/08/1893, opened his own studio in late 1896 or early 1897. It had six pupils at the time, three of whom were women, the New York architect Katharine Cotheal Budd (1860-1951), New York architect Fay Kellogg (1871-1918), and Julia Morgan. All students left Pérouse de Monclos's atelier in 1898. Both Budd and Kellogg returned from Paris without getting their degrees, as both left before women were admitted to the school. This left Morgan to become the trailblazer.

During World War I, the Young Women's Christian Association, commissioned Budd, Kellogg and Morgan design "Hostess Houses" across the US. According to the Preservation in Mississippi website: "The mission of the Hostess House was to provide a location on base for soldiers to entertain visiting parents, wives and children. Prior to its creation troops had no place to entertain guests on base. As the program gained success and spread to multiple military camps, the Hostess House buildings expanded from a simple ‘living room” type space to also include dining and overnight facilities. Since many training camps were isolated, these additions made longer visits possible." (See Thomas Russell Preservation in Mississippi.com, "Seven Years: The Hostess House, and the Female Architect […and Mississippi]," published 03/16/2016, accessed 10/26/2021.)

Certificat d'Etude, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France, 1902. Between 1898-1902, Morgan studied in the Atelier de François-Benjamin Chaussemiche (1864-1945), and was the first woman to gain a diploma from the École.

Her educational and professional mentors included Berkeley architects, Bernard Maybeck and John Galen Howard (1864-1931), as well as the French academic architects, Marcel Pérouse de Monclos ( and Chaussemiche. Morgan failed to gain admittance twice at the Paris École, before being accepted in 1896.

Personal

Relocation

Julia Morgan was born in San Francisco, CA on 01/20/1872. At age eight, she resided at 716 14th Street in Oakland, CA, according to the 1880 US Census. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1880; Census Place: Oakland, Alameda, California; Roll: 61; Page: 177B; Enumeration District: 009, accessed 10/25/2021.)

The 1900 US Census indicated that Morgan Family resided at 754 14th Street in Oakland, CA. At this time, the household included Julia's parents, siblings Parmelee, Emma, Avery and Gardiner, and a household servant, Delia Seaton (born c. 08/1875 in NJ). (See Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Oakland Ward 4, Alameda, California; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0364; FHL microfilm: 1240082, accessed 10/25/2021.) Julia continue to live with her parents at 754 14th Street between 1910 and 1920. (See Ancestry.com, Source Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Oakland Ward 4, Alameda, California; Roll: T624_70; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0118; FHL microfilm: 1374083, accessed 10/26/2021 and Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: Oakland, Alameda, California; Roll: T625_89; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 94, accessed 10/25/2021.)

By the time of the 1930 Census both of her parents had passed away, and Julia lived with her brother, Avery, a musician, in the same house on 14th Street in Oakland, at that time worth $20,000. She was then 58, he 54. In 1930, Julia and Avery's house did not possess a radio. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Oakland, Alameda, California; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0015; FHL microfilm: 2339836, accessed 10/26/2021.)

She died in San Francisco at the age of 85, and was buried at the family plot at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, CA.

Parents

Her father was Charles Bill Morgan (born 12/21/1841 in Brooklyn, NY-d. 02/14/1924 in Alameda County, CA), who worked in commercial shipping for much of his life. His father William Avery Morgan (born 09/02/1812 in Oneida County, NY-d. 01/15/1848 in NY), was a merchant, who wed Sarah Diana Ingham on 04/08/1835. They had two children, Charlotte Bill Morgan Hyde (born 03/17/1836) and Charles Bill Morgan.

Charles Morgan performed a number of white-collar business roles during his long career. In 1869, Charles Morgan worked as a shipping merchant, a partner in the shipping firm of Blanchard, Williams and Company, then "...the most extensive shipping firm on the Pacific coast." (See Nathaniel H. Morgan, Morgan Genealogy A History of James Morgan of New London, Conn, and his Descendants, from 1607 to 1869, [New York: Hartford: Lockwood and Brainerd Press, 1869], p. 202.) The US Census of 1880 listed Charles's occupation as "bookkeeping," that of 1900 reported his profession as a "capitalist," that of 1910 had him as the secretary of an iron and steel company, and that of 1920 noted that he worked as a secretary for a mining company.

He married Eliza Woodland Parmelee (born 1845 in NY-d. 1930 in CA) at Grace Church, Brooklyn, on 06/10/1869 in Brooklyn. (See Ancestry.com, Source Information Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Marriage Newspaper Extracts, 1801-1880 (Barber Collection) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005, accessed 10/25/2021.)

Eliza's parents were Albert Ozias Parmelee (born 12/19/1806 in Litchfield, CT-d. 07/05/1880 in Brooklyn, NY) and Sarah Emma Parmalee (born 01/18/1828 in MD-d. 04/20/1891 in Oakland, CA).

In 1859, Eliza Parmelee studied at the Brooklyn Heights Seminary, an all-girls' high school founded in 1851 and located at 88-90 Montague Place in Brooklyn Heights, NY. It was unusual at this date for girls to obtain a private school education, and her access to education may have inspired her daughter to maximize her own educational opportunities. (See Eighth Annual Catalogue and Circular of the Brooklyn Heights Seminary, 1858-1859, [New York: John F. Trow, Printer, 1859], p. 9.)

According to the State of California's Hearst Castle website: "During her time at [the University of California] Berkeley, Morgan developed a keen interest in architecture, which is thought to have been fostered by her mother’s cousin, Pierre Le Brun, who designed the Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower in New York City."

Julia had four siblings: Parmelee Morgan (born c. 04/1870 in CA), Emma Morgan (born c. 03/1874 in CA), Avery Morgan (born c. 08/1876 in CA), and Gardner B. Morgan (born c. 10/1880 in CA).

In 1900, Parmelee worked as a commission shipping merchant

Her brother, Avery, was listed in the 1920 US Census as a "Chauffer" [sic].

Spouse

Morgan never married and had no children.


Biographical Notes

Julia Morgan was known informally as "J.M." Morgan has been credited with approximately 800 buildings. She suffered from an inner ear affliction in the 1920s, resulting in surgeries that left her face contorted and affected her balance. In 1946, Morgan was diagnosed with cerebral arteriosclerosis, which ultimately forced her to retire; a cousin of Morgan's was the New York architect, Pierre Lebrun, who encouraged the young woman to become an architect. Morgan gained the acquaintance of Phoebe Apperson Hearst while attending the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris; this connection with the Hearsts would pay off in many commissions for Morgan throughout her career. Thomas R. Aidala book, Hearst Castle San Simeon (1981), stated her birthday was 01/26/1872.

In the later years of her life, Julia Morgan took several excursions out of California. The architect arrived in Saint Thomas, the US Virgin Islands on 09/20/1938 aboard the East Asiatic Line's S.S. Erria. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation The National Archives at Washington, D.C; Washington, D.C; Series Title: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; NAI Number: 2953511; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A3901; NARA Roll Number: 27, accessed 08/30/2018.) The S.S. Erria later caught fire on 12/20/1951 at East Astoria, OR, killing 11 of the 114 on the ship. It was rebuilt and reused as a cargo ship.

At age 77, Morgan visited Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, landing in that country on 06/16/1949. (See Ancestry.com, Source Information Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016, accessed 08/30/2018.)



Associated Locations

  • San Francisco, CA (Architect's Birth)
    San Francisco, CA

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  • San Francisco, CA (Architect's Death)
    San Francisco, CA

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PCAD id: 128


NameDateCityState
2814 Derby Street House, Berkeley, CA1908BerkeleyCA
2816 Derby Street House, Berkeley, CA1908BerkeleyCA
67 San Leandro Way House, Saint Francis Wood, San Francisco, CA1921San FranciscoCA
Asilomar Conference Center, Merrill Hall, Pacific Grove, CAPacific GroveCA
Baptist Divinity School, Hobart Hall, Berkeley, CA1918-1919BerkeleyCA
Baylor, Margaret, Inn, Downtown, Santa Barbara, CA1926-1927Santa BarbaraCA
Berkeley Women's City Club, Berkeley, CA1929-1930BerkeleyCA
Burke, Katherine Delmar, School, Presidio Heights, San Francisco, CA1916-1917San FranciscoCA
Chickering, Allen L., Sr., and Alma S., House, Piedmont, CA1911PiedmontCA
Fairmont Hotel, Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA1902-1907San FranciscoCA
Goodrich, Chauncey, House, Saratoga, CA1919SaratogaCA
Gregory, Warren and Sadie, House #2, Greenwood Terrace, Berkeley, CA1912BerkeleyCA
Hail, Anthony House, San Francisco, CASan FranciscoCA
Hatfield, Henry Rand, House, Northside, Berkeley, CA1908BerkeleyCA
Hearst Hacienda, Fort Hunter Liggett, Jolon, CA1929-1930JolonCA
Hearst, Phoebe Apperson, House, Pleasanton, CA 1902PleasantonCA
Hearst, William Randolph, Castle, Roman Pool, San Simeon, San Luis Obispo, CASan Luis ObispoCA
Hearst, William Randolph, Castle, San Simeon, San Luis Obispo, CA1919-1947San SimeonCA
Hearst, William Randolph, House, McCloud River, Siskyou County, CA1924McCloud RiverCA
Hollywood Studio Club Building, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA1925-1926
Ilsen, Frederick George, House, Adams Point, Oakland, CA1913-1914OaklandCA
King's Daughters of California Home for Incurables, Oakland, CA1912OaklandCA
Ladies Protection and Relief Society, The Heritage Retirement Home, San Francisco, CA1924-1925San FranciscoCA
Lombard, James, House, Piedmont, CA1915PiedmontCA
Los Angeles Herald-Examiner Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1912-1913Los AngelesCA
Merchants Exchange Building #3, Financial District, San Francisco, CA1903San FranciscoCA
Methodist Chinese Mission School, San Francisco, CA1907-1910San FranciscoCA
Mills College, Alumnae Hall, Oakland, CA1916
Mills College, Carnegie, Margaret, Library, Oakland, CA1905-1906OaklandCA
Mills College, El Campanil, Oakland, CA1903-1904OaklandCA
Mountain View Cemetery, Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland, CA1909OaklandCA
North, Hart and Emma M., House, Berkeley, CA1909
Reed, Benjamin, House, Piedmont, CA1926PiedmontCA
Saint John's Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, CA1908-1910BerkeleyCA
Saratoga Foothill Club, Saratoga, CA1915SaratogaCA
Thomas House, Berkeley, CABerkeleyCA
United States Army (USA), Camp Fremont, Hostess House, Palo Alto, CAPalo AltoCA
University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Campus Plan #3, Berkeley, CA1902
University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Hearst Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA1903BerkeleyCA
University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Hearst Memorial Mining Building, Berkeley, CA1903-1907BerkeleyCA
University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Hearst, Phoebe Apperson, Campus Plan Competition Project, Howard, Cauldwell and Morgan Entry Project, Berkeley, CA1899BerkeleyCA
University of California, Berkeley, Hearst, Phoebe Apperson, Gymnasium for Women, Berkeley, CA1926-1927BerkeleyCA
White, Ralph, House, Berkeley, CA1913BerkeleyCA
Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Activities Building, West Fresno, Fresno, CA
Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Building, Berkeley, CA1919BerkeleyCA
Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Building, Chinatown, San Francisco, CA1932San FranciscoCA
Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Building, Fresno, CA1921-1922FresnoCA
Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Building, Oakland, CA1913-1915OaklandCA
Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Building, Pasadena, CA1921-1922PasadenaCA
Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Building, San Francisco, CA1915San FranciscoCA
Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Recreation Center, Fresno, CA
Zagar, Steven, Child's Playhouse, San Luis Obispo, CASan Luis ObispoCA
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