1920, East Bay, Ron H. and Elizabeth Elliot house
1 Eucalyptus St., Berkeley
Perhaps the most nearly pure neo-Georgian example in Morgan's work is the Elliott house of 1920, built for a daughter of Elizabeth Glide. It crowns the hill at the south edge of Berkeley, overlooking the East Bay, with its brick, gables, and entrance deliberately recalling the Georgian style. Commodious and symmetrical, with the perfection of detail so dear to Morgan, it looks ready to face another sixty-some years with firmness and propriety (Boutelle 1988:153, 258).
1920-21, Santa Clara Valley, Chauncey Goodrich house (Hayfield House)
La Paloma St., Saratoga
The Chauncey Goodriches commissioned another type of English house, this one in the country at Saratoga. Clearly a Californian version of what was understood as an English country house, Hayfield House (1920-21) is of concrete with redwood trim. Approaching by a sinuous lane that follows a brook through a pear orchard, one encounters a great spread-out form gathered under a low-pitched green-shingle roof, with gables and windows at second-floor level. A wide tiled veranda flows around three sides of the U-shaped structure. At the back, set into the grass, is a low turtle fountain by Jo Mora, a sculptor who worked with Morgan on several occasions but is best known for his reconstruction work at the Carmel Mission.
The original plan shows all the downstairs rooms opening to the outdoors and has the main entrance on the patio side, which is confirmed by the location of the reception hall and staircase in that wing. During construction, however, Mr. Goodrich asked Morgan to reroute the driveway and entrance paths (at first of Yosemite stone, then of redwood squares, booth too uneven for modern demands) to the center of the long living room. The upstairs rooms agree all on the north (or patio) side for summer comfort, and they are also equipped with sleeping porches. The front, facing the distant Santa Cruz mountains, is composed of sitting rooms, sewing rooms, a library, and the housekeeper's headquarters. A separate gardener's cottage, cook and laundryman's quarters, stables, and garage are just beyond the swimming pool and garden at the rear. The living room, like all of the downstairs rooms, is sheathed in Tiffany plaster, a finish of remarkable durability and attractiveness, which works well with the sandblasted redwood trim, beams, and murals. Iron chandeliers designed by Morgan have an appropriately rural yet elegant simplicity. Touches such as the carving of the dining-room mantel and sides of the fireplace to carry out the motif of the huge heirloom sideboard indicate how closely the architect worked with her client (Boutelle 1988: 153-54, 258).
1921-22, St. Francis Wood, Rev. Robert Donaldson house
67 San Leandro Way, San Francisco
No comment (Woodbridge and Woodbridge 1992: 173).
1921-22, Peninsula, J. G. Kennedy house
423 Chaucer St., Palo Alto
No comment (Boutelle 1988: 259).
1922, 1925, Potrero Hill, Potrero Hill Community Center
953 De Haro St., San Francisco
This neighborhood house was established in 1919 by the Presbyterian Church to serve the Russian immigrants who had been settling on the hill since 1905. Morgan's reputation for designing successful small institutional buildings won her this job, which she executed with her usual concern for context in the informal design of this rustic shingled building with a welcoming entry and lobby areas (Woodbridge and Woodbridge 1992:155).
At the turn of the century a new ethnic contingent settled on Potrero Hill when some two thousand Russian immigrants, mainly from the Volga and Caucasus regions, arrived after fleeing Czarist oppression. Known as the Molokani ("the milk drinkers"), they were a puritanical sect who worshiped at a modest little church where the women and men were segregated during services. At the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House, designed by Julia Morgan, the Russians took classes in the English language and learned how to use sewing machines. The charming, brown-shingled Neighborhood House, at 953 De Haro Street, is still in use today as a meeting hall and cultural center. It is an official San Francisco Landmark (Alexander and Heig 2002: 185).
Under the Executive Director, Enola D. Maxwell, the Neighborhood House continues to be a safe and turf-free environment, where all members of the community participate in over 30 programs and activities offering an array of social services to low income residents of Potrero Hill and to other communities in San Francisco year round, including: Juvenile Probation Programs: Intensive Home Base Supervision (LaVette Virden, case manager), Omega Boys Club and Peer Counseling Services (Jack Jacqua, co-founder), Zap Project (Martha Henderson, director), Head Start (Dave Pearson, director), SFUSD Tutorial Services in collaboration with Enola D. Maxwell Middle School (James Johnson, coordinator), Experiment in Diversity, MYEEP (Camille Wilson, coordinator), Good Faith Employment Program (Edward Hatter and Ben Bailon, heads), Golden Gate Regional Center (Katherine Rairigh, manager), and Social Development Center and the Senior Adaptive Centers (Potrero Hill Neighborhood House Programs and Activities. 2001. Potrero Hill Neighborhood House).
1922, West Mission, Zen Center (formerly, Emanu-el Sisterhood Residence)
300 Page St., San Francisco
This is one of Julia Morgan's most gracious small institutional buildings, originally designed as the Emanuel Sisterhood (Woodbridge and Woodbridge 1992:136).
Dorothy Wormser, associate architect (Boutelle 1988: 259).
In between commissions from the YWCA, Morgan designed another landmark building to aid young workingwomen. Similar to the YWCA buildings in program was the Emanu-el Sisterhood Residence at Page and Laguna streets in San Francisco. The Jewish women's group asked Morgan in 1921 to design a residential facility with assembly rooms, gymnasium, and other recreational features. The three-story brick building (plus basement) is on a difficult corner site, with hills at different angles on the two street sides. The façade is formal, with broad steps used to give a level base to the slope. The windows are spaced and framed in classical Beaux-Arts symmetry. The entrance leads to a formal hall that provides the central axis, with a large assembly room to the right and offices to the left. Tables and chairs built by Morgan's craftsmen to her designs are still in use after sixty-five years. Across the large courtyard, in the center of which a fountain was originally located, a parallel wing serves as classrooms and living space. The cross axis marked by a broad staircase leads up to the living spaces and down to the gymnasium, with natural lighting on the landings both above and below the main level. After wartime duty as headquarters for female military personnel, the building was bought in the 1950s to serve as the San Francisco Zen Center (Boutelle 1988: 106-07, 259).
1923, Northern California, Sacramento Public Market (now office of California Secretary of State)
1230 J Street, Sacramento
Morgan later designed another unusual commercial building on a far vaster scale-the Sacramento Public Market (1923). The commission came through the Glide family, whose interest in revitalizing the downtown district was part of the pervasive civic enthusiasm of the 1920s. That the state capital, the center of the most productive agricultural valley in the nation, should have a noteworthy public market to replace the makeshift facilities that had grown up since the turn of the century was the idea of Elizabeth Glide, already a client and friend of Julia Morgan.
The architect designed a brick building in Beaux-Arts style; her plan shows the corner siting to be significant, with a wider sidewalk at that point marking the main portal. This entrance is classical, framed by brick pilasters with ornamental capitals below a clearly marked string course; clerestory windows bring in light at the top. Along the sides additional two-story brick pilasters with capitals punctuate wide sixteen-panel windows both upstairs and down; further classical reference was provided by metopes (carved blocks) placed above the columns between sections of the clerestory windows. Awnings over the lower-floor windows provided protection from Sacramento's summers.
The interior has the large, central open space of a traditional Beaux-Arts plan, which offered easy circulation to the stalls and shops. Structural steel pillars and brackets were unsheathed, and the encircling balcony had wooden balusters with cutout urn designs and boxes for ferns and flowers provided from the start. After marketing patterns changed, the building was used as a sports arena as well as for shops, then was converted in 1979 to offices for the secretary of state as part of a program of adaptive use of historic buildings (Boutelle 1988: 81, 84, 259).
1923, Santa Clara Valley, Saratoga Federated Community Church
Park Place, Saratoga
No comment (Boutelle 1988: 259).
1924-25, Marina, Heritage Retirement Community (formerly, Ladies Protection and Relief Society)
3400 Laguna St., San Francisco
Julia Morgan designed a number of buildings for benevolent organizations; they are notable for their logical plans and quiet dignity. The Heritage organization, originally a refuge for homeless Gold Rush children, has an L-plan with a pleasant and protected south-facing garden court (Woodridge and Woodridge 1992: 43).
In 1924-25 Morgan designed another important service institution, this time in the English style, on land that had once been part of the Panama-Pacific Exposition. The Ladies Protection and Relief Society (established in 1853) had acquired the land at Laguna and Bay streets as a gift in 1922. The society had originally helped homeless women and cared for orphans, but by the 1920s foster homes had replaced orphanages, and the group was ready to assume new responsibilities. They soon realized that the kind of protection and relief most needed by ladies in modern San Francisco was attractive housing and permanent care for the elderly. Morgan was commissioned to design a residential facility for older women; the plans for a building to cost $50,000 were approved in 1924, and the board met in the new building in March 1925.
The Heritage, as it is now called, is made of reinforced concrete with red-brick facing and salmon terra-cotta trim. (Note 9:Walter Steilberg, Morgan's engineer on the Heritage and on the Berkeley Baptist Divinity School of 1918, said that she had wanted terra-cotta trim on the latter, but her clients had preferred stone ornamentation. Morgan's love of color was not inconsistent with the English Free Style as revived in the early part of the century, notably by the Arts and Crafts architect Halsey Ricardo in England and Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow.) The elevation reveals the interior plan by two large bays of seven windows, which mark the principal public rooms. The original plan, which covered a large city block, was for a long rectangle under one roof. A richly planted formal garden around a fountain was a major part of the project, with a gardener's cottage to one side. Much of the garden was absorbed by an insensitive addition to the original building made by Warren Perry in 1958. The gardener's cottage was upgraded to superintendent's home and finally became an apartment connected with the institution.
The concrete of the interior is unfurred and cast in forms suggesting a Tudor arch, with squared pillars. Oriental carpets on the tile floors and screens, paintings, and antique furniture fit the manorial atmosphere, as does the cast stonework of the main fireplace, with its wide arch and quatrefoils in four square panels. A small chapel, a library, a health-care wing, and a beauty shop (all in the original plan) add to the quality of life in this retirement community, now home to more than a hundred residents, both men and women. The enthusiasm of the residents and the long waiting list testify to a carefully conceived and executed environment for the aged that has rarely been equaled (Boutelle 1988: 120-21, 259).
1925, East Bay, Phoebe A. Hearst Memorial Gym
N. side Bancroft Way near College Ave., Berkeley
Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan
Morgan planned the building and Maybeck created the romantic architectural elements. The building was intended to be part of a larger complex with an auditorium, art gallery, and museum that was never built (Woodbridge and Woodbridge 1992: 209).
The only Maybeck buildings on the [University of California at Berkeley] campus now are the Men's Faculty Club, built before [John Galen] Howard's arrival, and the Hearst Memorial Gymnasium for Women; the gymnasium was designed by Maybeck in association with Julia Morgan, the architect of San Simeon, in 1927, the year [John Galen] Howard resigned (McCoy 1975: 6).
In 1927 Maybeck worked in association with Julia Morgan on the Hearst Memorial Gymnasium for Women, and in 1929 with Henry Gutterson on a Sunday School for the Christian Science Church (McCoy 1975: 54).
Hearst Memorial Gymnasium for Women, University of California, Berkeley, 1927, designed by Maybeck in association with Julia Morgan, a graduate of the Beaux Arts. The monumental building lacked the light airy touch of pergola or trellis, typical of Maybeck (McCoy 1975: 57).
Hearst authorized Maybeck to prepare a second set of preliminaries to include not only a gymnasium and auditorium, but also an art gallery and a museum that would house the extensive collections aleady in possession of the University from the Hearst family bequests. Maybeck designed buildings in the image of his Palace of Fine Arts and proposed a large domed auditorium placed near Strawberry Creek on the north-south axis of the Campinile esplanade. A women's gymnasium was located at the south as its forecourt; colonaded paths led to museums and art galleries to the east. The project stalled with delays created by Hearst's indecision as to whether he desired to construct the whole, or only a portion, or Maybeck's expanded proposal. In addition, Maybeck's delay in completing drawings of the scheme allowed Hearst's interest to cool substantially. But in 1925 the University administration secured agreement for the construction of the women's gymnasium. (Note 12: University of California, President's Report (1925).) In order to expedite the design drawings, Maybeck entered into an arrangement by which Julia Morgan would be responsible for the construction drawings and functional details while he concentrated on the overall planning and design.
The sympathetic action of the two designers created a building of romantic beauty. Like the Palace of Fine Arts, the Hearst Memorial Gymnasium (1925) is Beaux-Arts design as Maybeck knew and practiced it, blending exterior and interior space into a unified composition. A number of large exercise rooms are joined to create courtyards which shelter one major and two minor outdoor swimming pools. California Live Oak trees planted in sculpturally ornamented boxes on the main floor and in open wells at the ground level complement the blocky massing of the individual elements of the gymnasium. The main pool, whose marble decks become terraces and promenades surrounding the exercise rooms, is built above the ground level, bulwarked by service and locker facilities.
Maybeck used the Water Gardens at Nimes as a prototype and, for the first time in his work, details are copied from that design without the usual adaptation and restudy that enabled him to transform historical details into his personal ornamental patterns. The interior of the building is generously daylighted with skylights and glazed walls that surround planted courts. Natural concrete interior surfaces were ornamented by stenciled patterns introducing color accents into the exercise rooms. Utilitarian incandescent fixtures are both protected and enriched by a framework of woven and bent rattan. The large rooms are linked by smaller ones and all open to the exterior galleries which adjoin the pool decks (Cardwell 1977: 199).
The pool terraces were planned to also serve as promenades and outdoor lobbies for the auditorium of the original scheme (Cardwell 1977: 200).
It should be remembered that Maybeck designed his terraces not only as surfaces for everyday swimming areas but also as parts of a forecourt to the large auditorium which was to be sited directly to the north. The pool decks, connected with the principal floor of the auditorium planned to be one story above the natural grade level, would have then served as outdoor lobbies for the concert-goers. Whether or not funds would every have been provided to erect the grandiose auditorium is quite dubious, but the location of a student union building by John Galen Howard blocking the access to the auditorium site from the central campus made the completion of Maybeck's scheme improbable. (Note 13: the General Development Plan for the University of California adopted in 1956 under the leadership of W. W. Wurster not only re-introduced the concept of planning around open spaces as in the Bénard Plan but also included the general development of buildings for art and architecture in the area proposed by Maybeck.)(Cardwell 1977: 201).
The gymnasium, successfully relating interior and exterior spaces, was Beaux-Arts design as Maybeck knew it, and became a building of romantic beauty (Cardwell 1977: 202).
While Maybeck rendered his visions [for a gymnasium, an auditorium, an art gallery, and a museum to house the art and anthropological collections that Mrs. Hearst had given to the university over the years] in beautiful impressionistic pastel drawings on large sheets of brown paper, the university administration pursued its practical goals, and in 1925 Hearst provided funds for the women's gymnasium. For this project Maybeck collaborated with Julia Morgan, and the construction drawings were prepared in her office. When the building was completed in 1927, it bore the unmistakable imprint of Maybeck's romantic imagination in the great urns set about its base (as on the Palace of Fine Arts) and in the huge planters embellished with reliefs of dancing women on the pool terrace. Under Morgan's direction, the interior of the building was designed in a frankly functional way. Indeed, Maybeck was so disconnected from the interior planning that, according to one story, when Hearst asked him where the bathroom was at the dedication ceremony, Maybeck did not know.
Maybeck's attention had been focused on the grand ensemble of the art gallery's loggia and the museum in its landscaped setting. In his drawings these structures have the qualities of ruins. The gymnasium was just a fragment of this composition, intended by Maybeck to serve as the frontispiece for the auditorium, to which it would have been connected by its terraces and other promenades. Alas, the gymnasium remained a fragment. Whether Hearst was too preoccupied with his building campaigns at San Simeon or whether Maybeck dallied too long over the drawings and lost his patron's attention is a mystery. In any event, the rest of the complex was never built, and Maybeck never received another Hearst commission (Woodbridge and Barnes 1992: 87, 235).