Posted by: montclairlibrary | October 1, 2012

Julia Morgan

Oakland almost-native (she was born in San Francisco and moved here when she was 2) Julia Morgan designed over 700 buildings in California, including a dozen or so in Oakland and Piedmont. Julia Morgan's passport photo, from Landmarks CaliforniaMorgan was California’s first licensed female architect, one of the first female civil engineering graduates of UC Berkeley, and the first woman admitted to L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.

The Julia Morgan 2012 Festival kicks off today and runs through November 16th. The festival celebrates Morgan’s interesting life and her “prolific contributions to California’s built landscape.” Organizations from all over the state are offering visual and performing exhibits, seminars, teas, Morgan-designed building tours and garden tours. Here in Oakland, the Oakland Heritage Alliance will host a tour of Julia Morgan-designed buildings on the Mills College campus Saturday, Oct. 13 from 10am-noon. Details and registration at

If you’d like to learn more about Julia Morgan, look for one of these books at the Montclair Library:

Julia Morgan, Architect by Sara Holmes Boutelle, with color photography by Richard Barnes (Montclair Library Oversize, 720.924 MORGAN)

Craftsman Style by Robert Winter with photographs by Alexander Vertikoff (Montclair Library Oversize, 720.973 WINTER)

Julia Morgan, Architect of Dreams by Ginger Wadsworth (Montclair Library Children’s, J BIO MORGAN)

Julia Morgan Built a Castle by Celeste Davidson Mannis (Montclair Library Children’s, J BIO MORGAN)

Some of the buildings Morgan designed in Oakland include:

  • Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Avenue (Morgan is buried next door at Mountain View Cemetery)
  • Fred C. Turner Stores, 4001 Piedmont Avenue at 40th Street (now home to A.G. Ferrari and other shops)
  • El Campanil bell tower, Carnegie Hall, Julia Morgan School for Girls, Student Union and Kapiolani Cottage at Mills College
  • First Swedish Baptist Church (now Re:Generation), 219 East 15th Street
  • United Presbyterian Church (now College Avenue Presbyterian Church), 5951 College Avenue
  • YWCA Building, 1515 Webster Street
  • King’s Daughters Home (now part of Kaiser Permanente), 3900 Broadway


  1. Check out the JM2012 website. A lot of events are going on over the next couple of months. The Berkeley City Club is hosting a launch party for the festival on Friday, October 12th, featuring food by chefs from Julia Morgan venues, an auction, live music and dance, a dinner inspired by Julia Morgan’s favorite foods, and a talk by member of the SF Art Commission, Dorka Keehn. Find out more here: And here’s the latest article on Julia Morgan featuring the latest research:

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