Julia Morgan (January 20, 1872 – February 2, 1957) was an American architect in California. She designed more than 700 buildings in California during a long and prolific career. She is best known for her work on Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.
Morgan was the first woman to be admitted to the architecture program at l'École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the first woman architect licensed in California. She designed many buildings for institutions serving women and girls including YWCA buildings and buildings for Mills College.
Morgan embraced the Arts and Crafts Movement and used various producers of California pottery to adorn her buildings.
Julia Morgan is the first woman to receive the AIA Gold Medal, which she received posthumously.
Morgan's father, Charles Bill Morgan, was born to a prominent East Coast family which included successful military men, politicians and influential businessmen. He studied to be a mining engineer then in 1867 sailed for San Francisco, California, to speculate in mines and oil. He returned the next year to marry Eliza Woodland Parmelee, favored daughter of Albert O. Parmelee, a cotton trader and self-made millionaire. The wedding was in Brooklyn, New York, where she had grown up. As a wedding present, Parmelee gave his daughter an envelope full of money so that she could raise a family in comfort. He indicated that more money would follow...
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