Julia Morgan, the first woman architect to be licensed in California, designed over 700 buildings in California including Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Despite her prolific career her architectural genius was overlooked by history for almost 100 years before she posthumously earned the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal.
Morgan was the first woman to be admitted to the architecture program at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. She designed many buildings serving women and girls, including a number of YWCAs, Women’s Clubs and buildings for Mills College. She pioneered the use of reinforced concrete in many of her buildings, a material that proved to have superior seismic performance in the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes.
Julia Morgan’s almost forgotten story has been lovingly researched and passed down over the years by a remarkable linage of “Keepers” and is chronicled in “Finding Julia Morgan,” the pilot episode of New Angle: Voice, a podcast about the lives and careers of pioneering Women in Architecture. Produced by Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, directed by Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA, and radio producer Brandi Howell.