April 4, 2014

Hearst Castle, Julia Morgan

In December I will be driving down the coast of California from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I am so excited for this trip! Along the way I will be visiting a few historical homes, one of which is Hearst Castle. I cannot wait to share my photos with all of you when I return. The castle was designed by architect Julia Morgan who is an inspiration to me. I would like to share this short blog about her.

Born January 20, 1872 in San Francisco, American Architect Julia Morgan designed more than 700 residential and commercial buildings in California throughout her long and prolific career.

Morgan attended the University of California, Berkeley and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. In her senior year at the university, engineering lecturer Bernard Maybeck, an eccentric architect, encouraged Morgan to continue her studies at the prestigious Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Morgan was initially denied acceptance because the school had never previously accepted women. Upon her third attempt Morgan was granted admission, after a period of studying and after the school opened its entry process to women applicants. In 1902 Morgan earned a certificate in architecture from the school, making her the first women to receive one from the school in Paris.

Once she returned to the states, Morgan became employed by San Francisco architect John Galen Howard. Under Howard, Morgan worked on several buildings at the Berkeley campus, including providing decorative elements to the Hearst Mining Building, and drafting a proposal for Sather Gate. Morgan was also the primary designer for the Hearst Greek Theatre.

In 1904 Morgan became the first woman to obtain an architecture license in the state of California. Shortly after, she opened her own office in San Francisco. It was around this time that Mills College commissioned Morgan as the architect for many of the school’s buildings.

Morgan gained financial success with many projects following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Morgan is perhaps best known for all of the work she did for the Hearst family. The most notable project by Morgan is known as Hearst Castle – the home of newspaper magnate and antiquities collector William Randolph Hearst. The project was Morgan’s largest and most complex assignment, including the private guest house complex built in hybrid Mission Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Moorish Revival styles. Morgan’s work on the castle was only ended by Hearst’s declining health in 1947. Enjoy the pictures of Hearst Castle!

Best, Sarah A. Blank Sarah Blank Design Studio is a high-end architectural design firm that specializes in high-end kitchens, butler’s pantries, libraries, and master bedrooms, bath suites. The firm works predominantly in Fairfield County and Westchester County. Our award winning firm, with 33 years of experience, often works beyond the kitchens and baths of a client’s home, and designs the architectural interiors for many of the projects that have been commissioned.