Cover Image: Julia Morgan: An Intimate Biography of the Trailblazing Architect

Julia Morgan: An Intimate Biography of the Trailblazing Architect

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Member Reviews

What a delightful read! This book is an overdue tribute to Julia Morgan who was an influential architect who worked over 50 years on over 700 structures (though no official record exists).  The author, Victoria Kastner, who was the official historian at Hearst Castle (San Simeon)  for many years, give us access to Morgan's projects, her personal life and education.  Structured well into ten chapters, this book is filled with personal photographs, letters, and amazing sketches and photographs of Morgan's work.  Not only do we learn of the hurdles Morgan had to overcome as a female architect in her education and her early career, she also was "invisible" by not being given credit (or her work was dismissed as not very original) on some of her major projects after her death.  She was able to form long-term professional relationships and friendships with wealthy benefactors (most notably Phoebe Hearst (mother) and William Randolph Heart (son) to design and build residences, schools, and museums.   This book finally sets the record straight and gives Julia Morgan the visibility and honor she deserves.  The next time I visit the Bay Area, I am excited to go visit all of her remarkable buildings (even if only from the exterior).

I highly recommend this book!
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Victoria Kastner’s exemplary Julia Morgan: An Intimate Biography of the Trailblazing Architect traces the life of the extraordinary woman who created William Randolph Hearst’s legendary “castle” near San Simeon, California, among other influential designs. Morgan’s character, challenges, and creative vision come vividly alive in Kastner’s skillful hands, as do the complex, fast-changing times in which she lived. Readers fascinated by Morgan, architecture, female architects, the Hearst empire, and California will all love this book.
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Such a beautiful and insightful read about Julia Morgan's life. You get not only her life but also why she was so great at what she did. Perfect for aspiring architects, creatives, and anyone else wanting to know more about this trailblazing woman.
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Great informative book about my favorite architect.  I highly enjoyed reading this informative text.  I highly recommend.
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