Julia Morgan was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and was a pivotal figure in American architecture. She was a leading architect of the First Bay Area Tradition, a design style that embraces many of the concepts fundamental to today's green movement in architecture. The style incorporates the concepts of sustainability, the use of local and natural materials and integration with the surrounding landscape.
Julia’s best known commission was Hearst Castle. She practiced for nearly 50 years and designed more than 700 buildings making her the most prolific architect of her time. Over 100 of those buildings were designed for women's organizations, including dozens of clubhouses for women. These spaces allowed women to take a more active role in public life.
Julia's accomplishments included an impressive list of firsts:
first woman to study civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, graduated 1894
first woman admitted to the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts architecture school in Paris, and first woman graduate, 1902
first woman licensed to practice architecture in California, 1904
first and only woman architect honored with the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal Award, 2014