Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Julia Morgan/Forney Collection, 1907-1931 (bulk 1907-1917)
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (123.35 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents Note
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Collection Title: Julia Morgan/Forney Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1907-1931 (bulk 1907-1917)
    Collection Number: 1983-2
    Creator: Morgan, Julia, 1872-1957
    Extent: 4 flat file drawers
    Repository: Environmental Design Archives.
    University of California, Berkeley.
    Berkeley, California.
    Abstract: The collection documents Julia Morgan's early architectural career.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Other Formats

    Microfilm containing selected records and drawings from the collection is available.
    • Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library:
      Identifier/Call Number: BANC FILM 2546
    • Contributing Institution: Environmental Design Library:
      Identifier/Call Number: MICROFILM 78264 NA

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in the collection should be discussed with the Curator.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Julia Morgan/Forney Collection, (1983-2), Environmental Design Archives. University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, California.

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was donated in 1983.

    Access Points

    Women architects.
    Architecture, Domestic--California--San Francisco Bay Area.
    Morgan and Hoover.
    Hoover, Ira Wilson


    Julia Morgan, (1872-1957)
    Julia Morgan was born in 1872 in Oakland, California, where she continued to live throughout her life. Immediately after Morgan's graduation from Oakland High School, she enrolled in the College of Civil Engineering at University of California, Berkeley, receiving her degree in 1894. While at Berkeley she was introduced to Bernard Maybeck, who was an instructor of drawing at the university, since at that time there was no school of architecture. Maybeck encouraged students interested in architecture to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the foremost architectural program at the time. After graduation Morgan worked briefly for Maybeck, and then traveled to Paris in 1896 intending to enroll in the Ecole.
    In 1897, Morgan took the entrance examination for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, ranking 13th out of 392 competitors. Despite her score, she was denied admission because the school did not wish to encourage women in the field of architecture. The next year Morgan became the first woman to be admitted to the architecture school. She chose the atelier of Benjamin Chaussemiche, winner of the 1890 Prix de Rome and official architect for the City of Paris. Morgan excelled in her studies, becoming the first woman to receive a diploma in architecture in 1901. After graduation, she continued to work for Chaussemiche, designing the Harriet Fearing Residence in Fontainebleau.
    In 1902 Morgan returned to the Bay Area and was employed by John Galen Howard, the University of California, Berkeley architect. While at his office, she worked on projects such as the Hearst Mining Building and the Greek Theater. In 1905 she opened her own office in the Merchants Exchange Building in San Francisco, however, the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires interrupted her practice. Morgan temporarily moved her practice to Oakland and formed a partnership with Ira Wilson Hoover, another draftsman in Howard's office. The new firm, "Morgan and Hoover" had several notable commissions during this period, including the Carnegie Library at Mills College, St. John's Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, and the structural renovation of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
    In 1910 Hoover moved to New York, and the firm changed its name to "Julia Morgan, Architect." Although Morgan maintained her own practice, she often worked on joint projects with other architects and engineers. Morgan worked with Maybeck on the Hearst Gymnasium at University of California, Berkeley, and later, on Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. She also collaborated with engineer Walter Steilberg, even after he left her office.
    Julia Morgan is well known for her residences, but she also designed numerous institutional buildings such as churches, schools, hospitals, university buildings, swimming pools and a series of YWCA buildings. She worked principally in California and the West. For distant projects, she often sent Edward Hussey, an architect in her office; to monitor projects and keep her updated on their progress.
    Phoebe Apperson Hearst and her son William Randolph Hearst were responsible for a number of Morgan's commissions. Phoebe Hearst encouraged Morgan in her career, commissioned her to work, and was a great supporter until her death in 1919. One of Morgan's largest commissions was William Randolph Hearst's La Cuesta Encantada, popularly known as Hearst Castle, in San Simeon. In 1919 she began work on the lavish and enormous compound, a project which continued for nearly twenty years. Other designs for Hearst included a commercial building in San Francisco, Wyntoon in Siskiyou County, the San Francisco Medieval Museum, a residence for Marion Davies in Santa Monica, and the Babicora Hacienda in Mexico.
    Morgan's projects were incredibly varied in style and materials. This diversity is usually attributed to her willingness to listen to clients' desires as well as her flexibility as an architect. Utilizing her Beaux-Arts training, Morgan began with logical and coherent plans and then added the exterior facades and ornament. Renaissance Revival, Tudor, Spanish Colonial, Mediterranean and Islamic styles were all part of her architectural vocabulary and were pieced together and overlapped with Craftsman elements as needed. Although the exact number of projects by Julia Morgan is unknown, over her career she is believed to have designed more than seven hundred buildings, most of which were constructed. She closed her office in 1951 at the age of seventy-nine. Morgan died February 2, 1957 at the age of eighty-five.



    • ___________. Julia Morgan of San Francisco, California, TMs [photocopy]. Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    • Adams, Annmarie. Notes on the Julia Morgan Collection, 1985. TMs [photocopy]. Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA
    • Boutelle, Sara H. Julia Morgan, Architect. Abbeville Publishers, New York, 1988.
    • James, Cary. Julia Morgan. Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1990.
    • Longstreth, Richard W. Julia Morgan, Architect. Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, Berkeley, 1977.
    • Riess, Suzanne B. ed. The Julia Morgan Architectural History Project. Vol. 1 and 2 Bancroft Library Regional Oral History Office, Berkeley, 1976 .

    Scope and Contents Note

    The Julia Morgan/Forney Collection spans the years 1907-1931, (bulk 1907-1917). It is an important record of California residential and commercial design, and of the work of one of the earliest female architects in the nation. The collection contains drawings of architectural projects arranged alphabetically by project. This finding aid contains digital images of selected Juila Morgan project drawings from this collection.
    The records represent work primarily from her early career, and include many projects with her partner from 1906-1910, Ira Wilson Hoover. The majority of the projects are residential, including some multi-residential projects, as well as one commercial and one governmental project. Included in this series are the drawings for the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority house, of which Morgan was a member. Notable in this series are drawings for the Dixwell Davenport residence in St. Francis Woods, residences and offices for female physicians, and apartment complexes for female clients, Dr. Mariana Bertola and Mrs. I. C. Woodland and Miss J.H. Carruthers.
    Guide to the Project Index:
    The Project Index is a way to organize the various formats of architectural records from the same project. Each horizontal row holds information about a project and the location of the project records.
    Client Name/Project Name:
    The first column lists the Client or Project name. The client name is always listed first. If the project has a name, this may be listed with a see reference to the client. This is the most likely way that researchers will wish to find a project.
    Often architects worked with other architects, engineers, or landscape architects. The name of the collaborator is listed, Last name, and first initial. The role of the collaborator follows in the same column in parenthesis.

    e.g. Maybeck, B. (architect) = Maybeck as a collaborating architect
    Physical Location of Materials:

    Manuscript Records, Drawings, Detail Drawings, Photographs

    • The next set of fields are used to designate the physical location of any materials related to the project. Materials may include records, files, correspondence, and papers, drawings, detail drawings, or photographs.
    • The location of the materials is formatted to have the box number, then folder number.

      e.g. Box # | Folder # - one box, one folder: 5 | 2
    • Folders in consecutive order, but the same box will be hyphenated. e.g. additional folders - same box, consecutive: 5 | 6-9
    • Folders not in consecutive order, but in the same box will be separated by a comma.

      e.g. additional folders - same box, not consecutive: 5 | 6, 11
    • Materials that reside in more than one box are separated in the cell with a comma.

      e.g. additional folders - different box: 4 | 3, 5 | 2
    • If the material is not a box, but actually a Tube, a T will be entered before the tube number, or if the oversize folder is in a Flat File, FF before the folder number.
    The date of the project. May be a single year, a range of years, or a circa date.
    Location and State:
    The geographical location of the project.
    Project Type:
    The general term for the category of building.

    e.g. a commercial building or a residence.
    This column will appear if the collection has been microfilmed. The column tracks the amount of material microfilmed for each project: all, selected or none.

    Related Collections

    Title: Julia Morgan Collection.
    (ARCH 1959-2). Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley, CA
    Title: Julia Morgan Architectural Drawings
    BANC MSS 71/156, 77/127 The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA
    Title: Maybeck, Bernard R., architectural drawings, 1939-1940
    (BANC MSS 79/87 c). The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA
    Title: Edward Hussey Collection
    (ARCH 1977-2). Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley, CA
    Title: Walter Steilberg Collection.
    (ARCH 1973-1). Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley, CA
    Title: Julia Morgan Collection.
    Department of Special Collections, Robert E. Kennedy Library, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA