Julia Morgan: An Intimate Biography of the Trailblazing Architect
by Victoria Kastner ; photography by Alexander Vertikoff
was the official historian at Hearst Castle for more than 30 years—around the
same amount of time Morgan worked on the estate with William Randolph Hearst. The
author goes beyond the architect’s most famous projects into her incredible
fortitude and singleness of purpose to be in a profession that didn’t want her
kind (i.e., female). The first woman to accomplish many things—study
architecture at École des Beaux-Arts, graduate from UC Berkely in engineering,
get licensed in California, win an AIA Gold Medal (posthumously)—Morgan certainly
paved the way for female architects, though it continues to be a bumpy road.
Upon her death in 1957, her nephew implored historians to look at more than the
architecture, stating that no author had “described what Miss Morgan was, or
what she really did, or what she was trying to do, or why.” Well, now one has.
Books, 2022, 240 pages, hardcover, $32.50.