Abstract: Julia Morgan and the construction of Heart Castle

I am exploring how California architect Julia Morgan’s personal style and experience influenced the construction of Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. By reexamining a thoroughly understood site through a different lens, one that focuses on Morgan and her personal influence rather than on Hearst himself, I will bring new insight to the site and a more holistic understanding of our past. I want to understand how this massive, impressive display of Hearst’s wealth and power is also a physical testament to the legacy of an impressive woman. Morgan’s history of creating spaces for women (like the Berkeley City Women’s Club) may reveal itself in the castle, and may bring to light how her gender influenced Hearst’s commission. I also want to understand how she navigated being the sole woman in many work situations, especially a very powerful one in the specific context of Hearst Castle.

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