Julia Morgan: Iconic architect

Julia Morgan in ParisJulia Morgan, who studied architecture in Paris after her 1894 graduation from Berkeley, returned to work on several campus landmarks, including the Hearst Memorial Mining Building and the Greek Theatre. She went on to design hundreds of buildings over the course of her distinguished career.Berkeley Engineering 150For famed architect Julia Morgan, one barrier after another fell to the wayside. She was the only woman to graduate with a civil engineering degree from Berkeley in 1894. She was the first woman admitted to the prestigious architecture program at École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. And she was the first licensed female architect in California, working for John Galen Howard before launching her own firm in 1904. Look around the state — you’ll see Morgan’s designs in more than 700 projects in a wide range of historic styles, including Hearst Castle, the Berkeley Playhouse (formerly St. John’s Presbyterian Church), Asilomar Conference Center and numerous campus buildings at UC Berkeley and Mills College.

In a letter recommending Morgan for the 2014 Gold Medal, the highest honor from the American Institute of Architects, Sen. Dianne Feinstein cited this Berkeley grad for her exceptional work. “Julia Morgan is unquestionably among the greatest American architects of all time and a true California gem,” she said.

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